Emergency responders render aid to George Simmons, 23, of Auburn, who was shot on Bartlett Street in Lewiston Wednesday afternoon. Police said drugs were involved and are still looking for two men wanted in connection to the incident. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LEWISTON — Police have identified the man who was shot in the abdomen Wednesday evening in the area of Bartlett Street.

Police said the victim of the 5 p.m. shooting at 147 Bartlett St. is George Simmons, 23, of Auburn, who suffered a single gunshot wound. He was taken to Central Maine Medical Center where he underwent surgery and was still being treated for his injuries Thursday.

Police believe the incident is “likely drug related,” rather than a random act, Lt. David St. Pierre stated in a news release Thursday.

Witnesses at the scene said the shooter dropped the gun, but then picked it up, stuffed it into a bag and fled the scene.

On Thursday, police Chief Brian O’Malley authorized the use of “directed crime suppression patrols” in response to the shooting and another shooting on Bartlett Street on Monday, St. Pierre said. These patrols will be done on foot and in police cruisers and will take a “proactive approach” to preventing crime, he said.

O’Malley said Thursday, “The most recent incidents involving firearms were due to domestic violence and drug use. These societal issues will take a cooperative effort to solve them in our community. However, this violence will not be tolerated in any part of Lewiston. The detectives and police officers of the city of Lewiston take these incidents of violence seriously and are working hard to apprehend those involved and prevent further violence.”

Police are asking anyone with information about the Wednesday shooting to contact Detective Brian Rose at (207) 513-3001, ext. 3309.

On Tuesday, police arrested a local woman and charged her with firing a handgun during a domestic dispute. Sheila Ramponeau, 32, was charged with aggravated reckless conduct with a firearm and domestic violence reckless conduct.

Police said that at 11 p.m. Monday, they received several calls reporting gunshots or fireworks in the area of 230 Bartlett St. They also received a report of a disturbance in the same area.

While searching the area, police were unable to find any evidence to determine if the report of gunshots were accurate. They found the shattered window of a vehicle parked in the area, St. Pierre said, but could not confirm that it was caused by a gunshot.

St. Pierre said police continued investigating Tuesday and learned that Ramponeau had fired a gun during a domestic dispute, and that she owned the vehicle with the shattered window.

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