Two men shot to death at a Biddeford apartment building two weeks ago were armed with a pellet gun and a rubber mallet and were there to rob a drug dealer, Maine State Police said Friday.

The man who police believe shot them may have been justified in using deadly force, but he wasn’t supposed to have a gun in the first place, police said.

Fuquan Prince Wilson, 34, of Bronx, New York, who goes by the street name “P,” has a lengthy criminal record, including a felony drug conviction that bars him from possessing a gun, state police said. He is wanted on a warrant charging him with possession of a firearm by a felon. The charge carries a sentence of up to five years in prison upon conviction, but it could also lead to federal charges, which tend to have stiffer sentences.

Police issued an arrest warrant for Wilson last Saturday but kept it secret. The Attorney General’s Office, which prosecutes homicides in Maine, unsealed the arrest warrant and affidavit Friday because Wilson knows police are looking to arrest him, state police said. Investigators believe he fled Maine after the shooting and they are working with authorities in other states to apprehend him.

Wilson is considered armed and dangerous, Lt. Brian McDonough, head of the major crimes unit for the state police in southern Maine, said during a news conference Friday at the state police barracks in Gray.

Wilson shot and killed Russell Lavoie, 42, of Old Orchard Beach and Jeffrey Lude, 37, of Biddeford on the evening of July 6 in an apartment at 19 Western Ave. in Biddeford, according to state police. Police said they have shared information about the case with the families of the men who were shot.

McDonough said the apartment was being used for selling drugs, and police seized a quantity of white powder, as well as syringes, plastic bags, spoons and other evidence of drug activity. They believe Wilson had been traveling to Maine for the past few months to sell drugs here. He has not been charged with any drug crimes but the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency has joined the investigation.

Wilson has not been charged with shooting Lude and Lavoie because police say it might be a case of self-defense. He was attacked and one of the men was holding what appeared to be a gun, though it turned out to be a “black Airsoft BB-type handgun,” police said.

“The pellet gun looked like a regular .45-caliber pistol,” McDonough said. “People were in fear for their lives and understandably so.”

A police affidavit in support of Wilson’s arrest, compiled from numerous interviews with witnesses, including people inside the apartment at the time of the shooting, paints a picture of a violent robbery that went bad. According to the affidavit:

Police eventually interviewed the three people who were in the living room with Wilson when the attack happened: Haley Barrett, Melody Fournier and the tenant of the apartment, Donald Corkran, 55, whom the others called “Old Man.” The affidavit didn’t say where Barrett and Fournier live.

Barrett told police that two men they didn’t know entered the apartment asking for “P.” As soon as they saw him sitting on the living room couch, one of them jumped on him and started beating him. The other man pointed what looked like a black handgun at Barrett and demanded the drugs she was hiding in her bra. She said she lifted her shirt to show she was not hiding a stash of drugs, the affidavit said.

The men stopped beating Wilson and moved into the dining room, Fournier said. “‘P’ was bleeding badly but got off of the couch and immediately followed after the men,” Fournier told police, according to the affidavit.

Corkran told them that he saw Wilson get off the couch, draw his handgun, and go into the dining room.

“Donald followed ‘P’ into the dining room where he saw ‘P’ raise the gun and begin firing toward the men who were now in the kitchen area,” the affidavit says. He said that Wilson was badly injured.

Barrett said she moved into the kitchen and encountered a man who had been upstairs, Gordon “Geno” Lowe, who now had the gun and was asking her to take it. The affidavit does not say whether she did or not. Lowe told police he never touched the gun, that when he heard the shots, he ran down from an upstairs room and fled with two other women who were there.

Barrett and Wilson ran to West Cutts Avenue, where they climbed into her blue Lincoln.

One witness who saw two people matching their description told police that the woman said something about the shooting and the man told her: “Shut up! Just keep walking.” Barrett drove Wilson to a bus station, where he got into a cab, she told police.

Police were called to the house at 7:09 p.m.

Police recovered 14 shell casings from a 9 mm gun inside the apartment. Lavoie and Lude, who were found outside, were both shot multiple times.

A witness who saw the two men stagger outside and fall to the ground said one of them was holding what appeared to be a black pistol and carrying a mallet in his pocket.

Police interviewed Corkran on several occasions. Each time he changed his story, according to the affidavit. Eventually he told police that he had let Wilson sell drugs from his apartment for several months in exchange for marijuana, cigarettes, food and gas.

Three other people who were upstairs at the time – two women and a man, Lowe – as well as Barrett, Fournier and Corkran, have not been charged in the case.

McDonough said it is unclear whether Lavoie and Lude had been to the apartment before. None of the witnesses said they knew them, according to the affidavit.

None of the witnesses said they knew Wilson’s full name. Corkran told police he did not know the name of the man selling the drugs, referring to him only as “P” or Prince Wilson.

But evidence technicians were able to gather blood from the couch and a trail leading out to the sidewalk and to where Barrett’s car had been parked. The state police crime lab in Augusta developed a DNA profile and it matched someone in the national Combined DNA Index System – Wilson.

Simultaneously, Maine police contacted authorities in New York with their suspect’s description, including a tattoo on his neck with the word “Ruthy” and a telephone number he had been using. Police traced the number to a report of a domestic violence assault involving Ruth Marie Woods and her husband, Fuquan Prince Wilson of the Bronx.

There is currently nothing linking two other men who had been sought in the case to the shooting, police said.

Lance Palmer, 44, of Auburn, a felon with his own lengthy criminal history, had been at the apartment two hours before the shooting and had gotten into a heated argument with Wilson. At one point, Palmer was holding a knife behind his back because Wilson was motioning to pull a gun on him, according to the affidavit.

The dispute appeared to revolve around Fournier, who described herself as Palmer’s ex-girlfriend.

Christopher Dube, 28, of Dover, New Hampshire, had been in Biddeford that day and there was information that he knew of the shootings and might have had a gun, McDonough said.

Police were having trouble locating both men and so publicized their names and photos. Each quickly reported to police and neither was charged in connection with the case. Dube was already wanted on a probation violation and so was arrested on that.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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Twitter: @Mainehenchman