Three people are dead and a fourth person was wounded in a shooting rampage in the Washington County towns of Machias and Jonesboro on Monday that put two schools on lockdown.

Thomas Bonfanti, 63, of Northfield was charged with murder on Monday after shootings in which three people were killed. Washington County Jail via AP

Thomas Bonfanti, 63, of 77 Black Cow Meadow Road in Northfield was arrested and charged with murder in connection with the shootings, Lt. Troy Gardner of the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit said during a 5 p.m. news conference at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Machias on Monday.

Bonfanti was being held without bail at the Washington County Jail pending his initial court appearance on Tuesday or Wednesday. Investigators have not been able to provide a motive for the violence but said Bonfanti was familiar with all of the victims.

“Based on what we know at this point all of the victims were shot,” Gardner said. “We are still trying to determine a reason, a cause for the shootings.”

Gardner identified the victims as: Shawn Currey, 57, of Machias, Samuel Powers, 33, of Jonesboro and Jennifer Bryant Flynn, 49, of Machias. The fourth victim, a woman, was shot and taken to a hospital for treatment. Gardner declined to name her, the hospital where she was taken or the severity of her injuries.

“All I can say is she is alive,” Gardner told reporters at the 5 p.m. news conference.

State police said that the rampage began around 10:45 a.m. Monday when Bonfanti drove to the first of three separate homes in the towns of Machias and Jonesboro.

Gardner said that emergency dispatchers received a 911 call at 10:47 a.m. for the report of a shooting at 323 Kennebec Road in Machias. Officers found Currey’s body inside the house and the wounded woman outside it.

Shortly after 11 a.m., another 911 call came in for the report of a shooting at 69 Roque Bluffs Road in Jonesboro, which is where officers found Powers’ body. At 11:20 a.m. police located Flynn’s body in a home at 666 Kennebec Road in Machias. A short while later, Gardner said police received information that Bonfanti was at the American Legion Post 9 building on Court Street in Machias.

When officers arrived, they located Bonfanti, who was not armed, and took him into custody without incident. Gardner said that police seized Bonfanti’s 2002 Ford Expedition, a gun and secured his residence in Northfield. Police believe that Bonfanti acted alone and that there is no threat to the public. They are not saying whether the gun police recovered was used in the shootings.

Gardner said it appears that Bonfanti went inside the American Legion hall at some point, but said he was arrested outside the building. When a reporter asked if Bonfanti was a veteran, Gardner said “I don’t know the answer to that.”

Gardner, who was surrounded at the news conference by deputies from Washington County, said that local law enforcement is familiar with Bonfanti, but he said he was unaware if he had a criminal record.

According to records obtained from the Maine State Bureau of Identification, Bonfanti does have a criminal record. In November 2016, he was arrested by state police for operating under the influence. He was found guilty and fined $600. His driver’s license was suspended for 90 days.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office is expected to perform autopsies Tuesday on each of the victims to determine their cause of death.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said that state troopers, Washington County Sheriff’s deputies, Machias police, the Maine Warden Service and the Maine Forestry Service all responded to the shooting scenes.

Machias Memorial High School and Rose M. Gaffney Elementary School, both in Machias, were placed on a hard lockdown around 11 a.m. after the Washington County Sheriff’s Office notified school officials of the situation, said Scott Porter, superintendent of Machias Bay Area Schools. In a hard lockdown, all students are required to remain in the school until further notice.

The lockdowns were lifted at 12:05 p.m.

 

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