WEST PARIS — John Crouch III shot Vincent Andre Choppin Jr. in the chest, then chased the wounded Massachusetts man through snowy woods, up hills and through a gravel pit before firing at him again, according to a police affidavit.

Choppin, 18, managed to scale a tall wooden fence at Midwest Price chip mill on Route 26 where he called 911 saying he was “going to die,” Lt. Justin Brown of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a report of the incident.

The shooting occurred about 10:27 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, inside a camper at 5 Jackson Crossing Road where Crouch, 39, and his girlfriend, Angelique Henderson, 39, lived.

After Choppin was transported to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, Brown executed a search warrant on the camper, owned by Crouch’s father, John Crouch II. He found a recently fired buckshot shell just inside the camper door, consistent with Choppin’s wound, and blood.

A Maine State Police K-9 and Oxford County Sheriff deputies tracked three sets of footprints, Brown said. One set was Choppin’s as he fled the camper into the woods, leaving traces of blood. The other two sets were together on a different path until all three sets came together at the top of a ridge.

“One set of prints ascended another very steep embankment which led to a tall wooden fence,” Brown wrote. “This is where Vincent climbed the fence to his safety.”

The other two sets headed back toward the camper.

“The prints turned toward the river,” Brown wrote, and deputies found a shotgun thrown in the bushes, mostly buried in the snow.

Along the trails of footprints deputies also found two large bags of narcotics, later tested and determined to be fentanyl and crack cocaine, blood, several $20 bills and wadding from a shotgun shell that had been fired, according to the affidavit.

Police issued a statement saying Crouch and Henderson were wanted for questioning.

Crouch was arrested a week later, on Sunday afternoon, in South Paris on a charge of attempted murder, a Class A felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

The sneakers he was wearing matched the tracks leading from the trailer where he lived, Brown wrote.

Crouch appeared in a Paris court Monday and is being held on $150,000 cash bail at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

Henderson, 39, was arrested Sunday afternoon in Bethel on suspicion of conspiracy, but was not charged. She was released from jail Monday.

“At this point in time, there was not sufficient evidence to bring a charge,” District Attorney Andrew Robinson said Monday.

Choppin, of Dorchester, Massachusetts, was released from Central Maine Medical Center last week.

“He was interviewed by police and is not cooperating,” Chief Deputy James Urquhart said Friday.


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