LEWISTON — An Auburn man charged with attempting to murder police during an overnight standoff that ended Tuesday apparently had equipped himself with body armor and a semi-automatic rifle in preparation for a possible shootout with police, according to court documents.

Daryan Saunders

Daryan Bryan Saunders, 47, appeared Wednesday in 8th District Court by videoconference from Androscoggin County Jail where a judge set bail at $750,000 cash.

He was charged with aggravated attempted murder, a crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

According to an affidavit in support of a search warrant at 30 Gillander Ave. in Auburn and to establish probable cause for Saunders’ arrest, Auburn police Detective Katherine D. Avery wrote that Saunders had reportedly shot a .9 mm gun at someone driving past that house on Monday.

Police received a call from a man who said Saunders had had “ongoing issues” with him and shot at his truck as he drove past the Gillander Avenue home.

The issues reportedly stemmed from comments the man had made on Facebook about a large drug seizure in Auburn. Saunders made threats toward the man, asking some of the man’s friends to meet at Mac’s Gill. The man went to the restaurant, but Saunders didn’t show up, according to Avery’s affidavit.


Mac’s Grill is where a $3 million shipment of fentanyl had been delivered from Arizona last week. An Auburn man was arrested and is facing criminal charges in connection with that case.

The man drove to Saunders’ home, which is when Saunders shot at his truck, apparently flattening one of the tires, the man told police. The man wasn’t injured.

Police later recovered a shell casing from a 9 mm round on the lawn of the home at the location the man said Saunders had been positioned when shooting at him. Police also would recover a Glock 9 mm handgun in the basement of the home.

The man told police Saunders had been “threatening him and others and told him that he was going to ‘kill him,'” according to the affidavit. The man said Saunders had also threatened another man and his family.

Saunders is prohibited from having firearms due to a 2017 conviction, Avery wrote.

Local police responded to the area of Saunders’ home on Monday afternoon. The Maine State Police Tactical Team was later deployed at the scene.


Maine State Police negotiators attempted to contact Saunders using a bullhorn, letting him know they were there to execute a search warrant and they didn’t intend to harm him, Avery wrote. They also told him he was under arrest and they wouldn’t leave until he came out of the home.

Shortly after 11 p.m. on Monday, police “introduced chemicals” into the home and told Saunders they weren’t shooting at him, but merely trying to “get his attention,” Avery wrote.

Saunders apparently began shooting, prompting police to tell him to stop or they “would be forced to use deadly force against him,” Avery wrote.

Gillander Avenue and the surrounding area had been closed to non-law enforcement and area residents had been advised to either leave their homes or shelter in place.

Saunders fired more shots from the home overnight, Avery wrote. Police started to flood the basement of the home in an effort to get Saunders to exit the building.

Later crime scene analysis would show shots had been fired from the basement through a window, Avery wrote.


Emergency personnel gather at the scene of a standoff Tuesday near Gillander Avenue in Auburn. Daryan Bryan Saunders, 47, who was holed up in the basement of the home at 30 Gillander Ave., was arrested on charges, including elevated aggravated assault, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, aggravated reckless conduct and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Police deployed chemicals in the building Tuesday morning, urging Saunders to surrender peacefully, which he did at 10:16 a.m., Avery wrote. He was taken to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, where he was evaluated then taken to Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn. No injuries were reported.

Auburn Fire Department helped clear the home of chemicals in the air and water in the basement so that police could conduct a search.

They found an empty magazine for a semi-automatic rifle in an upstairs bedroom, a .30-.30- caliber bullet in a plastic bag in the living room, a Ruger semi-automatic rifle (set to fire instead of safe) in the basement with a loaded magazine and the loaded Glock handgun.

The firearms were located “in the same area of the basement where the window which (a Maine State Police trooper) approached when Saunders had fired shots from inside the home,” Avery wrote.

“While searching the area, we also located a ballistic-style helmet and a camo ballistic-style vest, which had steel plates in the front and the back,” she wrote. “Their presence in relation to the guns suggest that it is more than probable that (Saunders) was preparing for an armed confrontation with police.”

Based on Saunders’ actions, the police instructions and the location of the firearms found, Avery wrote,” I believe (Saunders’) actions while (the state trooper) was in the area of the basement window were substantial and reckless steps toward attempting to kill a law enforcement officer as they were trying to carry out their duties.”


In addition to the charge of aggravated attempted murder, Saunders faces a felony charge of aggravated reckless conduct, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

He also was charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, each charge punishable by up to five years in prison.

Saunders was charged with criminal mischief and creating a police standoff, both misdemeanors.

At Saunders’ court appearance Wednesday, a judge imposed bail conditions that included no contact with witnesses in the case and no possession of dangerous weapons, including firearms and ammunition, for which he can be searched at random.

He was appointed a lawyer and reserved his right to argue for different bail terms at a later date.

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