Tuesday, December 10, 2013
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The Associated Press
Firefighters watch as the Maine State Police tactical team arrives at the Goodwins Mills Fire Station in Lyman near where shots where fired and a house was set afire in Dayton on Tuesday.
Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Staff Photographer
DAYTON — A Saco man who police say set fire to a home in Dayton and shot at state troopers and sheriff’s deputies was in custody late Tuesday night.
Authorities said Donald A. Henson, 47, surrendered after a 3-hour standoff at 645 Goodwins Mills Road in Dayton.
State police Lt. Louis Nyitray said Henson was charged with aggravated attempted murder. Henson was taken to the York County Jail in Alfred.
During a news conference Tuesday night, Nyitray said Henson threatened to shoot two people – both females – who were in the home when the incident began, around 3:45 p.m.
Henson fired several times at state police and deputies from the York County Sheriff’s Office after they arrived to investigate a report of shots being fired, police said.
None of the police officers was injured, and the two females – their identities and ages were not released – escaped safely, Nyitray said.
Earlier in the day, York County Sheriff Maurice Ouellette told reporters that the suspect’s wife, a child and another woman had escaped from the home.
Nyitray did not say who owns the property on Goodwins Mills Road.
“All things considered, it was a very good ending,” Nyitray told reporters outside the Goodwins Mills Fire Station in Lyman late Tuesday.
Nyitray said the incident began around 3:45 p.m., when police were called to Goodwins Mills Road to investigate a report of gunfire.
When officers arrived, Henson opened fire on them, Nyitray said.
Police said Henson fired several shots and the main house and a car were engulfed in flames.
Authorities blocked off the road and “contained” the suspect while the fires burned, Ouellette said. Police called in the state police tactical team for assistance.
Nyitray said several outbuildings are on the property, including a home, a garage and a barn.
“The fire and the smoke presented a lot of challenges to our officers,” said Maj. William King Jr. of the York County Sheriff’s Office.
Henson fled into one of the outbuildings, where he stayed until he surrendered.
“We’re investigating three separate fires,” said state Fire Marshal Joe Thomas said during Tuesday night’s news conference.
Thomas said investigators believe that the house fire, the car fire and a separate house fire in neighboring Saco are related. The home in Dayton was destroyed.
Thomas would not elaborate on the fire in Saco, which was reported at 3:22 p.m.
The Saco Fire Department was called to the home at 2 Maple St.
Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Holland said in a news release that the fire was contained to the basement. The upper floor of the home sustained smoke damage.
Records obtained Tuesday night from the State Bureau of Identification indicate that Henson lives at 2 Maple St. in Saco.
Henson, who is listed as 6 feet, 5 inches tall and 380 pounds, has a criminal history, according to state records.
He was found guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, in August 2010 and ordered to pay a $200 fine.
“There is still a lot of (investigative) work to be done,” Thomas said. “We’ll be working through the night and into Wednesday.”
Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: