WINSLOW — Sarah Gordon called 911 at 7:52 p.m. Monday to report domestic violence.

“He’s threatening to kill me!” she told the dispatcher, according to police logs.

Her husband, Nathaniel Gordon, could be heard in the background: “Hang up! Hang up!”

Minutes later, 30-year-old Sarah Gordon was dead.

Nathaniel Gordon, 32, a Maine National Guardsman who had served in Iraq, chased her across the street from their house at 4 Marie St. and shot her several times with a handgun, police said.

Their 8-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter watched from inside the house. Nathaniel Gordon left in his wife’s car.


Just over an hour later, Gordon fatally shot himself on Interstate 95 in Gray after being chased by Maine State Police.

Neighbors and some family members said Tuesday that they never heard or saw any hint of trouble at the Gordons’ home.

State Police, however, said they spoke with family members who said the Gordons argued often, although no paperwork was found indicating a pending separation or divorce.

Nathaniel and Sarah Gordon graduated from Skowhegan Area High School, according to family members, and got married on April 28, 2001, at the Waterville Elks Lodge.

Andrea Ducharme of Madison, Nathaniel Gordon’s cousin, said she and other family members noticed a change in him after he returned from Iraq a few years ago. He didn’t talk about his deployment, she said.

“He went to war, and he came back, and he was a little different; a little standoffish,” Ducharme said. “He was more reserved, almost like all the kid had grown out of him; he had to be so serious.”


Gordon was a warrant officer with the Maine Army National Guard, assigned to the 136th Engineer Company, said Capt. Shanon Cotta, a Guard spokesman.

He was a technical specialist for vertical engineering, meaning he worked on building construction, blueprints and construction analysis, Cotta said. Gordon served part-time on the weekends.

He did deploy to Iraq, Cotta said, but he was not a member of the Maine National Guard during that deployment.

Cotta didn’t know how long Gordon had been in the Guard or when he deployed to Iraq.

Asked whether Gordon had been receiving any treatment in connection with his service, Cotta declined to comment because of the investigation into the incident.

Neighbors said the Gordons moved into their house at 4 Marie St. in December 2009.


Sarah Gordon worked as a medical assistant at Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan. A hospital spokeswoman said she left a couple of months ago.

Ducharme said Sarah Gordon was a phlebotomist, a technician trained to draw blood. Recently, she stopped working; she was going back to school to become a doctor, Ducharme said.

Nathaniel Gordon “really supported Sarah, letting her stop work and continue her education,” but he recently lost his own job at the Augusta Armory and was working various jobs, including at the T-Mobile call center in Oakland and at the Target store in Augusta, Ducharme said.

“He wanted to do the best by his family, but he lost his job recently and I think that put stress on him,” Ducharme said.

Neighbors liked the Gordons.

“They were a very quiet family,” said Phil Begin, who lives a couple houses down the street. “The kids were always out playing. She seemed to be more outgoing than he was, but they’d come over and talk to us. They seemed to be a loving, happy couple.”


Chuck Paradis, whose parents live next to the Gordons, said he plowed the Gordons’ driveway this winter.

“I didn’t want any money,” he said. “They bought me a gift card for Sears, even though I said, ‘You didn’t have to.’ “

Monday night, most residents of Marie Street thought they had heard firecrackers just before 8 p.m.

Wendy Calvo, the Gordons’ next-door neighbor, said her 17-year-old was among the first to realize what was happening.

“Nate was running down the street, chasing Sarah, and she was screaming, ‘Help! Help!’ ” Calvo recalled Tuesday. “When I got outside, I saw her body laying over there. I went to lock my house down. He ran in a car and took off.”

Winslow Police Chief Jeffrey Fenlason said three Winslow officers responded shortly after 8 p.m. Nathaniel Gordon was gone, in a Chevrolet Lumina registered to his wife. Police recovered shell casings from the .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun that Gordon used.


Fenlason said police had never responded to the Gordons’ home for any incidents or complaints.

Paradis said he took the two Gordon children to his house until they were placed in the custody of their grandmother.

“They were pretty shook up; they were in the window of the house when it was all happening,” Paradis said. “The girl said her father had shot her mother.”

Police would say only that Nathaniel Gordon fired several shots, all outside the house. State police classified it as a domestic violence murder.

Gordon was chased by state troopers on I-95 north of Lewiston. Police contacted Gordon at least once on his cellphone, said state police Sgt. Anna Love.

Police chased the car to Gray, where spike mats were laid down and deflated at least one of the car’s tires. Gordon fired at least two shots inside his car before shooting himself.

The moving car then struck the guardrail along the median, near the Route 26 overpass.


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