Scarborough police said Thursday that a man charged with firing his gun in the Walmart parking lot in Scarborough the night before was startled awake by a man who had knocked on his window.

Bryan W. Johns, 36, is charged with one count of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, a Class C felony.

Scarborough Police Chief Mark Holmquist said Johns, an iron worker, had been sleeping in his car at the back of the parking lot in recent days.

A man approached Johns’ vehicle about 6:30 p.m. and knocked on the window to check on Johns, Holmquist said. Johns fired several rounds from inside the vehicle but did not hit anyone.

The man who knocked on the window returned to his vehicle and fled the area, and Holmquist did not identify him.

Johns, originally of Virginia, suffered minor injuries when he exited his vehicle, slipped on ice and was cut by some of the glass broken by the rounds he fired. Johns had worked briefly in the past at Bath Iron Works, a shipyard spokesman said, although it was unclear what brought him to the area.


Police say there is no evidence the man who knocked on the window posed a threat to Johns. “At this point we’re taking it at face value, that his true intent was to check the well-being of this person,” Holmquist said.

Johns is being held on $1,000 cash bail. He is expected to make his first appearance in Portland Unified Criminal Court on Friday.

Walmart often welcomes overnight parking for people traveling in recreational vehicles, and it is common practice for others without shelter to sleep in their vehicles overnight in Walmart lots.

It is the second shooting at the Scarborough store. In Feb. 2020, a man was shot and seriously injured in the parking lot as he loaded groceries into a vehicle.

Another shooting at a Walmart parking lot in Auburn in 2019 left a 41-year-old man dead. The shooter in that case was charged with murder, but he claimed self defense and was acquitted by a jury in September 2021.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: