Lewiston Police Chief David St. Pierre addresses the media Tuesday to clarify information about the double homicide on Knox Street that occurred Sunday morning. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — As state police issued a news release Tuesday afternoon identifying the two victims of Sunday morning’s Knox Street shootings, Lewiston police held a news conference addressing their response and general growing fears in the community.

Lewiston police Chief David St. Pierre said the victims — Mohammed Sheik, 30, of Auburn and Keyt Hussein, 23, of Lewiston — appeared to have known each other. Police confirmed the shootings were not random and there is no known threat to the public, he said.

Shannon Moss, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson, confirmed both victims died of gunshot wounds and both their deaths are categorized as homicides. One died on Knox Street and the other at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, she said.

Investigators have spoken with several people of interest, but none have been arrested or detained and the investigation is ongoing, said Moss. She did not address whether there were other people involved in the shootings and if so, what their roles were.

St. Pierre said with violent crime up across the state and the rest of the nation, he does not think Lewiston is trending any differently, though he acknowledged such information is cold comfort to a community witnessing more frequent violent crime.

“People are asking: is Lewiston a safe community, is there something they should be fearful of in that area in particular?” St. Pierre said. “I don’t think so. I think this was an isolated incident and the state police will tell you the same.”


In a press release accompanying the media conference, Lewiston police confirmed 29 shootings so far this year. Seven of the shootings resulted in one or more victims, but not all 29 shootings were linked to violent crimes: Four complaints were for target practicing, another was an accidental discharge and the rest of the shootings did not involve any injuries. Few involved property damage. Six of the 29 complaints were on Knox Street.

“It’s very concerning to us. Any time we have a shot fired that shouldn’t be fired, it’s alarming,” St. Pierre said. “It’s upsetting to the community and it’s upsetting to police. We’re there to protect and try to get out there as much as we can.”

Communication between police and people in the community is key to a safer city, St. Pierre said. Police have recently been sending more patrols out to the area on foot, by bike and by cruiser. In general, over the past couple of years, police have been doing more proactive work by going out into the community, getting to know people and trying to make people feel safer.

On the other hand, St. Pierre said, police also need people to be willing to come forward when something happens and to cooperate with investigations. Sometimes witnesses and even victims of crimes are unwilling to speak with police, and it makes it difficult to come to any resolutions or to ensure people are safe, he said.

“What I want to do as a police chief is a kind of call to action. As a community we need to come together,” he said. “All too often we respond to these calls to service, these tragic calls that are senseless, but what makes it difficult … is that people do not cooperate with the investigation for whatever reason. … Community involvement is 100% necessary. If (people) can’t trust us and we can’t break down those barriers with the community, then they’re not going to come talk to us, and we realize that.”

“We’ve been out in the community doing foot patrols, walking beats, doing community contacts and stopping in and seeing businesses. That’s important to us. We want to be able to be approached by the community.”



St. Pierre also addressed his department’s role in the Sunday incident. He said officers in the immediate area responded to Knox Street for reports of gunshots at 10:18 a.m. Sunday. Officers attempted to render aid to one victim at the scene and called for United Ambulance. State police were contacted immediately and the investigation was handed over to them.

He said rumors on social media that police took a long time to respond and that the body of the victim on Knox Street remained uncovered for hours were false. He said police arrived on the scene two minutes after the first call came in. And he said police bodycam footage shows the individual was tended to by police to give aid and then to collect evidence once it was determined he was dead. He said the body was covered up about 35 minutes after officers arrived.

“It’s important to say that the first responders, Lewiston police, have a duty to perform and that is to protect the scene. … The body did stay there for a little bit of time, but it was in fact covered.”

All local police follow the Protocol for the Investigations of Deaths set forth by the Maine Attorney General’s Office, St. Pierre said. Part of that policy is to not move a body for any reason unless police deem it an emergency.

St. Pierre said there were disturbances in the crowd of people who gathered as police guarded the scene and that some people were asked to leave or were escorted away. However, that community outreach piece was key in keeping people safe.

“There were several people from the community who did come forward on the scene to assist us calming the situation,” St. Pierre said referring to a few by name. “I thanked them up and down and from the bottom of my heart.”

St. Pierre said Lewiston police are still assisting state police in their investigation.

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