Portland police say a 36-year-old Portland man was killed and another person was injured in a shooting late Tuesday night in an apartment on Gilman Street.

The body of David Anderson was found by police who responded to the shooting at 88 Gilman St. The second victim, who was not identified by police, was taken to a local hospital for treatment and has since been released.

The shooting is the city’s first homicide of the year and was not a random act, police said Wednesday.

Police are looking for a person of interest, described as a man wearing black pants and a black hooded jacket, possibly white, about 6 feet tall with a medium build. He was last seen running from the building on Gilman Street, according to police. Surveillance photos from inside the building show a figure covered almost completely with clothing, with his face obscured under a hood.

The shooting was reported at 11:07 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

The two victims were visiting a resident in the building who was in the apartment at the time of the shooting, Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said.

“The individuals knew each other in the sense that the suspect was there for a reason. This reason in this instance was violence,” Sauschuck said.

The chief would not say what type of weapon was used or how many shots were fired, citing the ongoing investigation. He said he didn’t know how many people were inside the apartment at the time of the shooting, but it appears there were at least four present: the apartment resident, the two visitors who were shot, and the shooter.

“Everyone we’ve dealt with inside the apartment is being cooperative,” he said.

Anderson’s body was removed from the building by the Medical Examiner’s Office around 5 a.m. Wednesday.

The Attorney General’s Office is assisting in the investigation, as is customary for all homicide investigations, police said.

Anderson has a significant criminal record dating to 1997, including a felony burglary charge and several minor drug and theft charges. His more recent offenses are mostly drug-related, according to records at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland.

Earlier this year, he had been staying at an apartment complex located on East Bridge Street in Westbrook. A next-door neighbor, Cheryl Vargo, said she would see Anderson come and go from the unit, sometimes through a back window, although he told Vargo and others that he had been given a key by the apartment’s official tenant.

Anderson often went by the nickname “Shycago,” Vargo said. “He seemed pretty nice and he was nice enough to us,” said Vargo, who lives with her mother. “He didn’t bring us no trouble.”

A Facebook page for Shycago Stone Anderson had messages of condolences on Wednesday from friends and family, including a woman who identified herself as Anderson’s sister.

“This man took away from brother,” Dawn Amber Sellers wrote above the police photo of the suspect in the killing. “I pray to God he is found and brought to justice. Love u David. Always n forever.”

Efforts to reach Sellers for further comment were unsuccessful. Her Facebook page says she lives in Terre Haute, Indiana. The Facebook page where the condolences were posted said Anderson graduated from Terre Haute North Vigo High School and studied at the University of Southern Maine.

“R.I.P. to my dear friend Shycago Stone Anderson. He was taken from us way to early. But at least he is up above now watching over all of us friends and family he has down here celebrating his life,” Alyssa Trott posted on the Facebook page.

The unit where Anderson used to spend time is now vacant. Its previous tenant was kicked out after she began using heroin and other drugs, Vargo, the neighbor, said.

Westbrook police had been called to the apartment and arrested Anderson there on Jan. 17 for possession of cocaine, a Class C felony.

Anderson pleaded guilty to that charge on Jan. 19 and was sentenced to one year in jail, but the sentence was suspended for a one-year probation term. On Jan. 22, police returned to the Westbrook apartment where he had been living, found he had a crack pipe in his possession and placed him under arrest again. At the jail after his arrest, he tested positive during a drug screen for five types of drugs, including heroin, according to court records.

He was released from jail on Feb. 5, and failed to report to the probation office, court records state.

Anderson’s probation officer, Kimberly Gendron, filed a request with the court on March 1 to have his probation revoked. Court records do not indicate whether a judge took action on the request.

Anderson’s most recent address was listed as the Oxford Street Shelter in Portland, although he signed a court document on Jan. 29 that listed his address as 114 Gilman St.

Before dawn, investigators working the crime scene were visible through second-floor windows of the building. By 7:30 a.m., four detectives were combing the gutters and alleyways around Shalom House, a nonprofit that offers services to adults with mental illness and is based on Gilman Street.

Shalom House owns the apartment building where the shooting took place, but its residents aren’t necessarily clients, Shalom House executive director Mary Haynes-Rodgers said. The building was constructed as affordable housing, Haynes-Rogers said, so residents pay their rent through a variety of assistance programs. She said the building has “quite a bit of security,” but wouldn’t elaborate on the security policies.

“We have a drug and crime problem in Portland,” she said. “(This shooting) could have happened in any apartment or building in this neighborhood.”

Mayor Ethan Strimling also was on scene by about 7:30 a.m., and stood outside the building talking on his cellphone before driving away. Speaking after the 10 a.m. police news conference, the mayor said that he has confidence in the city’s police force and reiterated that Portland is a safe city.

Yet the area around Gilman Street, located just off Congress Street, between the Maine Medical Center campus and Hadlock Field, remains a center for drugs and other illegal activity, neighborhood resident Francis Bachelder said. A tenant in a nearby apartment building, Bachelder said he can hardly walk around after dark without someone asking him if he could sell them drugs.

A spokesman for the Medical Examiner’s Office said officials there had no information to release Wednesday morning.

Anyone who witnessed the shooting or who has information is asked to call Portland police at 874-8533 or 874-8575.

Staff Writers Scott Dolan and Dennis Hoey contributed to this report.

 


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