PORTLAND – Police say they want to speak to a young man with a neck tattoo about the shooting last week on India Street that killed one man and sent two others to the hospital.

Chief Michael Sauschuck held a news conference Tuesday to announce that police are looking for an Asian man with a stocky build, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, in his late teens to early 20s, with an extensive neck tattoo. He said the man is a “person of interest” in the case.

“I am not listing him as a suspect or anything else at this point,” Sauschuck said. “We would like to have a conversation with this individual and see exactly what he knows in reference to the shooting itself.”

The shooting killed Matthew Blanchard, 24, who had lived recently in Gray and Portland, and injured two of his relatives — Joshua Hersom, 24, and John Howard, 20.

The man with the tattoo appeared on surveillance video taken from a business on Washington Avenue, walking with a small group of people in the direction of Congress Street just before the shooting at 1 a.m. July 11.

Sauschuck said the man is not necessarily a suspect, but might have seen something related to the shooting.


Police have spoken to the other people who appeared in the security video, but the people either didn’t know the man’s name or weren’t giving it to police, Sauschuck said.

“We’re not sure we’re getting the full truth,” he said.

Police say they believe that the man has connections to the neighborhood but it’s not clear whether he lives in the area or was visiting.

The survivors of the attack were unable to give police a good description of the attackers, though they said they saw two black men running from the scene.

Sauschuck said investigators’ interest in the Asian man does not necessarily mean the earlier reports are erroneous. Other witnesses reported seeing two black or Asian men in the area just before the shooting, police have said.

Police have received many pieces of information to fill in the timeline as Blanchard and the others walked from outer Washington Avenue, along Baxter Boulevard, Franklin Street and Kennedy Park to Congress Street.


Sauschuck said the group interacted several times with people along the route, though he would not elaborate. He said he doesn’t believe that the crime was strictly random.

“We do believe there was some kind of interaction that may have led to this,” he said.

Police ask anyone with information to call them at 874-8584 or use a cellphone to text “GOTCHA” and send the message to 274637.

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: dhench@pressherald.com


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