Five days after the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old Deering High School graduate, police have not said what happened or made any arrests in connection with his death.

The family and friends of Isahak Muse attended a candlelight vigil Tuesday evening in Portland’s East Deering neighborhood. The victim’s sister confirmed he graduated from the city’s largest high school in 2015, but said the family was not ready to speak publicly Wednesday.

“The family is trusting the process,” Awo Muse said. “The family is believing that justice will be served.”

Portland Lt. Robert Martin said Muse was shot at 1:45 a.m. Saturday during what police have described only as an altercation at 107 Milton St. He was dead when officers and paramedics arrived. Police said on Saturday that there was no threat to the public, and they have not released any additional information since then. Questions remain about who fired the gun that killed Muse, who else was present and what Muse was doing at the home in the Riverton neighborhood that night.

Martin, who typically responds to media inquiries, directed questions Wednesday to acting Chief Vern Malloch. Malloch did not respond to a request for comment. The Maine Attorney General’s Office, which prosecutes homicides, deferred to the police. When asked for a report on the autopsy, a spokesman for the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office said he had no information to release. He did not say whether an autopsy had taken place or if the final report would be released to the public.

Milton Street is in a quiet residential neighborhood of modest single-family homes. A next-door neighbor who declined to give his name on Saturday said he didn’t know what happened, but woke up at 4 a.m. that day to see his street full of police cars and flashing lights. His neighbors kept to themselves, he said.


The gray, split-level home appeared quiet Wednesday afternoon. The yellow police tape that cordoned off the house over the weekend was gone. No cars were in the driveway. No one answered a knock on the door.

City property records show the house is owned by Mark Cardilli Sr. No one answered a voicemail left on a phone number listed for Cardilli on Wednesday.

A GoFundMe campaign had raised nearly $5,000 for Muse’s family as of Wednesday evening. A message to the organizer of that fundraiser was not returned.

The fatal shooting was one of two over the weekend in Portland, which usually has that many in a year.

The body of 59-year-old Patricia Grassi was discovered Sunday morning in an apartment on Cumberland Avenue. Police said she had been strangled.

In that case, 61-year-old Gregory Vance was arrested and charged with murder in the death of his longtime girlfriend. Vance made his first court appearance on Tuesday.


While most Maine police departments hand off homicide investigations to the state police, the Portland department investigates those deaths within the city.

Federal crime data tracks cases of murder and manslaughter and show that Portland typically has only one or two such cases each year. The data does not include killings that do not result in criminal charges.

Megan Gray can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

Twitter: mainemegan

Correction: This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 21, 2019, to correct the spelling of Isahak Muse’s name.

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