BIDDEFORD — A Biddeford man was shot to death in front of an apartment complex early Tuesday in a crime that left residents on edge and worried about their safety.
Charles Raybine, 47, was shot to death in front of Parish Place Apartments at 41 Birch St., a mile away from his home at 6 Rathier St. The shooter is still at large, and police are treating the case as a homicide.
The shooting occurred around 12:45 a.m., Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said in a statement. Raybine’s body was in a car parked in front of the complex, which is near the intersection of Birch and Alfred streets, about six blocks south of Main Street.
Raybine’s body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta for an autopsy.
A silver Chevrolet Malibu with Massachusetts plates was taken from the scene on a flatbed truck. Residents said it was the car in which Raybine was found.
“The whole thing just hits way too close to home,” said Krystal Whitaker-Kimborowicz, who called police after hearing the gunshots.
Minutes later, when an officer arrived, Whitaker-Kimborowicz peered out at a chilling scene.
“He had a flashlight over the victim, and I looked out the window, and I saw a dead body with blood, and he was kind of slumped in the car,” she said. “It looked like he had been shot in the head and chest. Whoever did it wasn’t just like a punk kid. . . . He knew what he was doing.”
It wasn’t the first time Raybine had been shot. In 2003 T. Joseph Glidden of Biddeford admitted he shot Raybine four times with a .40-caliber handgun during an argument over money in Old Orchard Beach, according to The Associated Press.
Raybine had an extensive criminal history, including theft, assault, aggravated assault and drug trafficking charges.
Tuesday’s shooting came 10 days after Southern Maine Affordable Housing, a subsidiary of the Biddeford Housing Authority, bought the Parish Place apartment building, said Guy Gagnon, the authority’s executive director. The group bought the 48-apartment building to maintain the long-term affordability of the apartments, where rates have traditionally been low, Gagnon said.
“What happened had no relation to anybody in the building,” Gagnon said. “It’s just a coincidence that they pulled into that parking lot. It appears completely isolated — that’s what I’ve been told by police. They assure me that nobody was in danger and that was really my concern.”
Diane Lemelin, who moved to the complex two years ago, said the shooting shocked her.
“I was just lying in the bed and I heard six gunshots, and I knew that they were gunshots — that was not fireworks — and then I heard a car screeching out really quick and my oldest daughter got up. She said, ‘Mom, did you hear that?’ I didn’t go to sleep until about 4 in the morning, just seeing all the lights and hearing all the commotion,” Lemelin said.
Whitaker-Kimborowicz said she’s already looking for another place to live.
“It was just horrific — I have two small kids, I have a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old, and honestly I’m starting to look for apartments,” she said.
“I’m on the second floor and the car was there, like not even 100 feet from where my kids would have been sleeping. It’s terrifying to me. You shouldn’t have to live like this,” she said.