The Maine Attorney General’s Office is investigating a police shooting in Gorham, which came at the end of a gunfight and car chase through two towns that left two men dead Saturday night.

Police found the body of Seiha Srey, 25, of Cape Elizabeth, in a wooded area at the back of the parking lot at the Howard Sports Center on North Street in Saco early Sunday morning.

Police believe Srey was shot in the head by Andy Luong, 22, of Biddeford, after the two got into a fight about drug money during a private party being held at Howard Sports on Saturday night.

Luong died after fleeing the scene of the shootout in Saco and leading police on a car chase from Buxton into Gorham, where police fired shots after stopping Luong’s vehicle with spike mats.

Luong was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy on Monday revealed that Luong committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth, according to the state medical examiner’s office.

Several years ago, Srey was at the center of a controversy in Cape Elizabeth. In 1998, he was charged with murder in connection with the stabbing death of Robert Joyal, a Gorham High School senior, after a fight in the parking lot of a Denny’s restaurant in Portland. After nearly two years in jail, Srey was released. He then moved from Portland to live with a family in Cape Elizabeth and tried to enroll at Cape Elizabeth High School.

Thomas Forcella, Cape Elizabeth’s superintendent at the time, said Tuesday he did not initially allow Srey to attend classes because he feared the safety of other students was at risk – not just because of Srey, he said, but because of the alleged gang activity surrounding the case.

He said Srey met with a tutor in the library of the school until the murder charges were dropped. At that point, Forcella said, he had to allow Srey to enroll in the school. He said Srey attended irregularly for no more than a couple of months. Forcella is currently superintendent of schools in Guilford, Conn.

His guardian, Nance Monaghan of Cape Elizabeth, declined to comment about Srey on Tuesday.

“I’m still sort of putting my feelings together,” she said.

Lt. Chris Sanborn of Gorham police said in a report released Monday that Gorham Officer Dean Hannon returned fire at Luong’s car on Route 25 in Gorham. Sanborn said the car had gone into Gorham on Route 112, where it crossed a spike mat and then turned left onto Route 25 and headed for Standish.

Sanborn’s report said the car stopped about 100 feet from Hannon. The report said Hannon, who was in the process of placing a spike mat, felt he was being shot at as he heard a loud shot and saw a muzzle flash from the car.

In a telephone interview Monday, Sanborn said, “He fired his pistol.”

Gorham police are each armed with a Glock .40-caliber pistol, Sanborn said. Hannon has been placed on administrative leave, pending the investigation by the attorney general’s office. The report said the investigation is a customary practice.

Police called Carl Phillips of Phillips & Sons Body Shop in Gorham to tow the car. Phillips described it as a four-door white Mercury. When Phillips arrived at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, the car was near Chet’s Auto Sales in Gorham and in the travel lane headed toward Standish.

Phillips said the two side windows on the driver’s side were missing and he saw two holes in the middle of the windshield. The two tires on the driver’s side were blown.

“He must have traveled some distance because the front tire was shredded,” said Phillips.

When Phillips arrived, he said, Gorham Police Chief Ron Shepard and Gorham Detective Larry Maxfield-Fearon were at the scene. He said Route 25 was closed at the Dingley Spring Road intersection.

State police escorted Phillips and the car from Gorham to the state police crime lab in Augusta.

According to Steve McCausland, Maine State Police spokesman, Srey and Luong were arguing at the party and were asked to leave. The fight extended out into the parking lot, where at some point Srey pulled out a .45-caliber handgun and someone gave Luong an AK-47 assault rifle.

Police say the two men exchanged at least 15 shots. McCausland said about 40 onlookers dove for cover or ran for safety. Although there were many people around, no other injuries were reported.

Lenny Holmes, the general manager at Howard Sports, was not at the scene Saturday, but was called into work early Sunday morning by an employee who told him, “You need to get over here. The police are here and there is a body in the swamp.”

Holmes said Howard Sports is a large center with many rooms, which is often rented out for big gatherings. He would not say who hosted the private party at which both Srey and Luong ended up.

He said there was staff in the building at the time of the shootout, but nobody specifically providing security.

As a result of this incident, Holmes said, “We’ll have to take a look at who is using the building and for what purpose. You don’t imagine anything like this ever happening in this area.”

According to Holmes, Project Sunrise, a nonprofit parents group at Biddeford High School that hosts an annual drug- and alcohol-free graduation night party, was holding a fundraising Halloween dance at Howard Sports on Saturday during the shootout.

He said none of the students at the dance were involved in the incident and several of them were not even aware of what happened until the dance was over.

Britt Wolfe, principal at Biddeford High School, said Monday the Project Sunrise dance was not a sanctioned school event. He said every school dance, with the exception of the senior prom, is held at the school with at least one administrator and one or two police officers in attendance.

“We, of course, are relieved and thankful that no Biddeford High School students were injured,” Wolfe said. “We don’t blame Project Sunrise either. It was impossible to foresee that something like this could happen.”

However, Wolfe said, he and Superintendent Sarah-Jane Poli plan to meet with the organizers of Project Sunrise sometime this week regarding future fundraisers the group has planned.

Kate Irish Collins, assistant editor at the Sun Chronicle, and Robert Lowell, a writer for the American Journal, contributed to this report.

Police say Seiha Srey, 25, of Cape Elizabeth, and Andy Luong, 22, of Biddeford, fired about 15 shots in a gunfight in the parking lot outside Howard Sports in Saco. The two had attended a private party there and got into a fight about drug money, according to police.

Facebook comments