WESTBROOK — A crowd of more than 100 people, including at least two who were carrying handguns, came out to a candlelight vigil on Tuesday night in memory of 19-year-old Treyjon Arsenault, who was fatally shot Monday night in Portland.

The crowd, made up mostly of Arsenault’s friends and acquaintances about his age, lit candles on a public basketball court off Main Street in downtown Westbrook where Arsenault was a regular. Those who attended grieved in different ways, some in disbelief that a polite, thoughtful young man was gone and others reacted with hostility.

Some hugged, some wiped tears from their eyes and others talked of street retaliation, saying they know who killed Arsenault but didn’t want to cooperate with the police.

Some young men at the vigil openly carried handguns in holsters at their hips. Westbrook police officers questioned the men with guns, acknowledging their rights under Maine law to carry firearms and let them stay within the crowd.

Two of Arsenault’s friends who were not carrying guns, 21-year-old Jacorey Monteiro and 19-year-old Tim Javett, said they had heard who killed their friend but wouldn’t repeat the killers’ names.

“The people who did it, they’re serious. They’re no one to (expletive) with,” said Monteiro, who had met Arsenault recently and became quick friends with him.

Javett said either police will arrest the killers soon, or he’s heard some of Arsenault’s friends will take matters into their own hands.

“Pretty much everyone knows what happened,” Javett said. “I think the greater Portland area is at a breaking point.”

Monteiro and Javett both described Arsenault as a “good kid,” who usually stayed away from trouble and was just in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was shot.

Word of the impromptu vigil spread quickly via Facebook and Twitter. The man who organized the event, Nicholai Kotsimpulos, said he had known Arnsenault since childhood and thought his friend would have appreciated the large turnout.

“I’ve known him since we were little,” Kotsimpulos said. “He’s a good kid. He was just hanging out with the wrong crowd, and he started to change. I told him not to hang out with those kids.”

Some people in the crowd acted with hostility toward members of the media who came to the vigil, telling them that they weren’t welcome and should leave. But Kotsimpulos disagreed, welcomed the media and spoke for television cameras describing how he heard of Arsenault’s death.

“My friends called me and said, ‘Trey got shot.’ And I didn’t believe it, so I called his mom, and she was just crying,” Kotsimpulos said.

Police have said that two people were shot at the DA Block Records Inc., recording studio, Arsenault and a 20-year-old Portland man, whom police would not identify but said is expected to recover. They have denied that a third man at the studio was stabbed in the incident.

Many people at the vigil pointed out a man in the crowd, whom they identified as Jeffrey Silvia, saying he had been stabbed at the recording studio. Silvia stood at the center of a throng of young men at the edge of the basketball court, with a bandage and brace on his hand where they said he was stabbed.

Every time a member of the media approached Silvia, the men in his group stepped forward and said he didn’t want to talk and warned journalists to stay away.

But most of the crowd was friendly and open to the media and wanted to talk about their friend who died so suddenly.

Emily Mullen, 19, said she was Arsenault’s neighbor in Westbrook after he moved to her neighborhood in eighth grade.

“I will never forget walking with him to the convenience store right up the street, driving to school together,” Mullen said. “Something like this touches the entire community. He affected so many people.”


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