A shooting in the West End on Memorial Day that left one man seriously wounded was sparked by a quarrel over a woman, according to the man who was shot and the woman the men were fighting over.

The shooting victim, Sam Iserbyt, told the Portland Press Herald he was confronted on his porch by a man he knew from childhood who believed the two were competing for the affections of a mutual friend.

Both men were armed, and when it was over, Iserbyt, 48, had been shot through his left thigh by a round from his own handgun as the two struggled over it. The bullet went through his femoral artery, the main artery in the leg.

“All I could think when I felt the bullet going through me … is I hope that’s not the femoral artery,” said Iserbyt as he sat in his living room. “It only took a few seconds to prove itself, and then I started bleeding like a garden hose.”

Iserbyt passed out after being shot, and an unidentified neighbor called police. He says he woke up in the hospital.

Portland Police spokesman Lt. James Sweatt declined to identify the other man in the incident because no one has been charged and the investigation is ongoing.


Police declined to comment on Iserbyt’s version of the events that led to the shooting.

Iserbyt and the woman both said a man who lives near Iserbyt’s home on Chadwick Street started the confrontation.

The Press Herald is not naming the man because he has not been charged with a crime.

Someone who matched Iserbyt’s description was at the nearby home Wednesday morning, but he denied he was the person Iserbyt identified and declined to speak with a reporter.

Iserbyt said the other man had been texting the woman, who had been rebuffing the man’s advances for several months and told him not to contact her again. The 47-year-old woman requested that her name not be used because she is afraid of the man.

Iserbyt said he and the woman met online about 18 months ago, briefly dated and are still friends.


Iserbyt said he ran into the man at a local bar last year and recognized him as an acquaintance from his childhood in Camden.

Iserbyt and the man struck up a friendship that continued until Iserbyt introduced the man and the woman. The man pursued her romantically, even hiring her for a period of time at his home repair business. They dated briefly, but had a falling out.

Iserbyt said the man believed Iserbyt had urged her to rebuff the man’s advances.

Iserbyt said he’d been tipped that the man was coming to his house that day. Knowing the man regularly carried a large-caliber handgun and fearing he’d be armed, Iserbyt armed himself with a .308-caliber military-style assault rife and a 9-millimeter pistol. Iserbyt sat on his porch with the handgun in his pocket and the rifle, equipped with a laser sight, in his lap.

When the man arrived, he was carrying a handgun, Iserbyt said.

“He was in snap mode,” Iserbyt said. “He’s gone off. He didn’t care if I shot him.”


As the man became increasingly hostile, Iserbyt trained the rifle’s laser sight on the man’s forehead.

The man then walked up the porch steps and grabbed the barrel of the rifle, twisted it out of Iserbyt’s hands and tossed it into the bushes.

Iserbyt reached for his handgun, and the two struggled over it.

“He grabs at it, and the next thing I know I’ve got a bullet in my femoral artery and through my butt,” Iserbyt said. “I had full control of the situation, I just didn’t want to be involved with pulling that trigger.”


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