LEWISTON — A local man who was shot on Bartlett Street on Wednesday afternoon was taken to Central Maine Medical Center where he underwent surgery later in the day.

Lewiston police officers interview witnesses as other police officers and firefighters render aid to the victim of a shooting in front of 147 Bartlett St. in Lewiston late Wednesday afternoon. Police were looking for two men wanted in connection with the shooting. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

The man, in his 20s, was listed in critical but  stable condition four hours after he was shot, police said. He was not identified by police.

Witnesses said the man was shot in the side about 5 p.m. in front of 147 Bartlett St. They said the shooter dropped the gun, but then picked it up, stuffed it into a bag and fled the scene.

The suspect remained at large two hours after the shooting was reported.

By 9 p.m., Lewiston police detectives with the help of agents from the Central Maine Violent Crimes Task Force were working leads as the search for the shooter continued.

Police Lt. Dan LaChance said the man knew the people who attacked him and added that there was no immediate danger to the public at large.

Early reports were that the shooting was the result of a robbery, but police did not comment on any possible motives.

Witnesses said minutes after the shooting that the man was moving and responding to questions from paramedics.

In the area where the shooting occurred, several items could be seen scattered across the sidewalk, including a cellphone, a lighter and a pack of Newport cigarettes.

Police investigate the shooting of a man Wednesday on Bartlett Street in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

At about 5:30 p.m., police were said to be searching for two men believed to be connected to the shooting. Police shut down a section of Bartlett Street as a crowd of several dozen flocked to the area. A stretch of road between Birch and Walnut streets was cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape. Several police cruisers lined the sides of Bartlett Street.

One witness who was on Bartlett Street at about 5 p.m. reported hearing a single gunshot. Others said they thought there was more than one. It was at least the second time this week that the neighborhood was rattled by gunfire.

On Tuesday night, a 32-year-old woman was charged with aggravated reckless conduct with a firearm and domestic violence reckless conduct for firing shots in the area of 230 Bartlett St. the night before.

On Wednesday afternoon, several people said the area around Bartlett and Walnut streets has been awash in violent confrontations recently, mostly, they deduced, due to drug trafficking in the city.

“I try to stay out of stuff like this,” said a woman who witnessed the shooting. “But it’s getting really hard to do around here.”

Bartlett Street was reopened to traffic by 7 p.m. Wednesday, but the police investigation continued.

Rescue personnel tend to a shooting victim in front of 147 Bartlett St. in Lewiston late Wednesday afternoon. Police were looking for two men wanted in connection with the shooting. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

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