Police search for the male suspect in the fatal shooting of a woman in Lewiston on Friday afternoon after finding his car on Farwell Street. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Jaquile Coleman

LEWISTON — A woman was shot and killed Friday afternoon on Scribner Boulevard in what witnesses described as a dispute over a baby.

Six hours later, the man suspected in the killing was believed to be inside a house on Farwell Street extension, surrounded by police looking to arrest him.

Neighbors reported hearing three to five shots ring out in front of a home at 175 Scribner Boulevard about 4 p.m. The gunshots were followed by the scream of a woman, witnesses said.

When police and rescue crews arrived moments later, a woman was found laying on the ground near the driveway, bleeding from two gunshot wounds.

Witnesses said the gunman had fled in a car shortly after the shots rang out. Police were searching for him later Friday, identifying him as 26-year old Jaquile Coleman of Alabama, who goes by the nickname “Chino.”

At about 6:30 p.m., the suspect’s vehicle, a Chevrolet Cruz with a temporary plate, was found on the dead-end section of Farwell Street, about a mile and a half from the shooting scene. A manhunt ensued, with police snipers and tracking dogs searching for Coleman in that neighborhood.

At 10 p.m., police had surrounded a house on Farewell Street extension, near where the car was found, after learning that Coleman may be inside. They were attempting to speak with him through loudspeakers as a crowd of onlookers gathered in the area.

According to a neighbor, messages the State Police Tactical Team were sending through the public address system indicated that Coleman may know the people who live at the home. Over the address system, police told Coleman: “Your friends are very upset and worried about their dog and want to get back into their home.”

The house is at 207 Farwell St. At about 10:30 p.m., it was reported that a dog had been retrieved from the home. A few minutes later, police burst into the home, but it was not clear whether the suspect was found. Police were said to be searching the garage after they entered the house.

Police were also continuing to search nearby neighborhoods, including those near the shooting scene.

Police surround a home on Farwell Street in Lewiston late Friday after learning the suspect in a fatal shooting may be inside. Submitted photo

More than a dozen officers were on the scene and sections of the neighborhood were cordoned off. The crowd of onlookers was growing as well, with some people driving to the area with their children to watch the spectacle. Most were gathered in the parking lot behind the credit union where the house in which Coleman was said to be hiding was aglow under a police spotlight.

The victim of the shooting, a certified nursing assistant said to be about 20 years old, was unresponsive as medics tried to revive her at the scene. A witness said she had been holding a baby and arguing with a man just before the shooting.

Neighbors said later that the baby had been handed off to a friend or relative of the slain woman shortly before the shooting. The child was unharmed, they said.

Police were not identifying the victim Friday night. Friends said she was the mother of a girl roughly a year old. Her relationship to Coleman was not immediately clear.

Coleman’s Facebook page reported he had attended a Vermont community college in pre-med courses.

Several people were at the house when the shooting occurred, witnesses said. Police questioned those people and searched inside the home.

Lewiston police investigate the shooting death of a woman Friday afternoon on Scribner Boulevard. Larry Gilbert/Sun Journal

Others who live in the area said they had young children playing outside when they first heard the shots. The children were hustled inside and none were reported hurt.

Kathy Butterfield, who lives near the shooting scene, said she heard three or four loud pops just before 4 p.m.

“I thought somebody was hammering,” she said. “Then a woman was screaming, ‘Oh, my God. Oh, my God,’ so I knew something bad had happened.”

Butterfield was one of several people who called 911 to report the shooting.

One neighbor said a family lives inside the home where the shooting occurred. They are friendly people, he said, although there have been domestic disputes at the home in the past, with police called a couple of times.

The family hadn’t been living there very long, neighbors said. The home had been occupied by several different families in recent years.

Investigators were searching for a silver or gray Chevrolet sedan with temporary plates in connection with the shooting.

Maine State Police were called to assist with the investigation, as is protocol in all Maine homicides.

The shooting scene remained cordoned off by yellow crime scene tape hours later. Police were gathering evidence from the yard and from inside the house.

Neighbors crowded on front lawns and street corners, discussing what had gone down in their usually quiet neighborhood.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Joe Valiente, who lives up the street from the scene.

Valiente said his 12-year-old daughter was at home when the shots rang out. She heard four or five pops and moments later, police and rescue crews were swarming the scene.

Lewiston police investigate the shooting death of a woman Friday afternoon on Scribner Boulevard. Larry Gilbert/Sun Journal

Valiente, like other people who live in the area, said he was thankful that no children or others were hurt by stray gunfire.

“There are a lot of kids out here, especially this time of year,” he said. “There are a lot of people out walking their dogs and that kind of thing.”

“It’s just sad,” Valiente said. “All of it.”

While police were searching for Coleman around the Farwell Street neighborhood, several people discovered that they could not get home as police had cordoned off the area as the manhunt progressed.

One woman returned to the area with her 97-year-old father after bringing him home from surgery at a nearby hospital. She discovered that she could not get home and so, like a dozen others, waited in the parking lot behind Maine Family Credit Union, a short distance from the spot where Coleman’s car was found.

While that woman was telling her story, another woman showed up with her elderly mother. The mother, the woman explained, lives at a nearby elderly housing complex and was unable to get to the complex due to the blockade.

Another woman lives near the end of the dead-end street. Her house was outside the cordoned-off area  and she could get to it easily enough, the woman said, but she chose not to until she knew the suspect was not still in the area.

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