SACO — A Rochester, New Hampshire, man was shot and killed at a two-family home on Nye Street early Saturday, Maine State Police said.

The shooting of Michael Burns, 53, at 26 Nye St. was reported at 1:21 a.m. by the man who fired the gun, state police said. The gunman was a tenant of the duplex, located in a quiet neighborhood of mostly single-family homes near the center of the city.

State police Sgt. Mark Holmquist said Saturday afternoon that the gunman was not taken into custody.

Burns was shot on the enclosed front porch of the two-story, wood-frame house and died en route to the hospital, Holmquist said.

The name of the gunman was not released by state police Saturday.

An autopsy was scheduled Saturday at the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.


McCausland said two other people were inside the house at the time of the shooting, and neither they nor the shooter were acquainted with Burns.

Detectives are trying to determine the circumstances of the shooting, McCausland said, and there is no threat to the public.

Marc St. Ours, who lives across the street from the duplex, said he slept soundly through the night and was unaware that anything happened until he saw investigators at the house when he got up in the morning.

“I’m a hunter and I know what a gunshot sounds like and I didn’t hear a thing,” St. Ours said.

Detectives interviewed St. Ours and other residents in the neighborhood, he said.

Three tenants in their 20s who had lived in the upstairs apartment for a few years moved out Friday, St. Ours said. They told St. Ours they were leaving because the house was for sale and they were concerned about being evicted on short notice if the property sold quickly, he said. The for-sale sign was removed Saturday, he said.


St. Ours described the first-floor tenant as a friendly man in his 40s who is mechanically inclined and enjoyed chatting about their mutual interest in guns. A tenant for several years, the man lives alone and helps to maintain the property, clearing snow and mowing the lawn, sometimes with a handgun holstered on his hip, St. Ours said.

“You couldn’t ask for a better guy,” St. Ours said. “I’ve never seen him upset. We borrowed each other’s tools and worked on our snowblowers and lawnmowers together.”

St. Ours and another resident described their neighborhood as typically quiet and said they had seen no cars from New Hampshire at the house lately.

“Nothing like this has ever happened here, and I’ve lived here for more than 30 years,” St. Ours said.

Detectives cleared the scene around 2 p.m., St. Ours said.

Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:


Twitter: bquimby

Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at:

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: