Police work at the scene of the shooting Wednesday night in the parking lot of the Walmart in Scarborough. News Center Maine photo

SCARBOROUGH — A man arrested for firing shots on Jan. 12 at the Walmart in Scarborough had his first court appearance on Jan. 14.

Bryan Wallace Johns, 36, was arraigned at Portland Unified Criminal Court on Jan. 14 and charged with one count of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, a Class C felony. He did not enter a plea. The court appointed Kristy Rivers as his attorney. Bail was set at $1,000.

On the evening of Jan. 12, Scarborough Police Department responded to a call that shots were being fired in the Walmart parking lot. Johns was arrested and taken to Cumberland County Jail.

According to court documents, Johns said he was parked in his vehicle where he was approached by a man who was aggressively knocking on the window of his black 2016 Jeep Wrangler. Johns began to feel threatened and feared for his life. He then took a Springfield Armory XD 9mm pistol from the center console of his car, according to court documents. While seated, he allegedly fired four rounds from the gun through the window directed towards the man. The man then began running towards a black sedan and Johns got out of his vehicle and gave chase, according to court documents. The man got in a car, driven by a woman, and they fled the scene.

Three witnesses came forward to describe what happened; including Mohammed Ali Aaqel, a Walmart worker. Aaqel told police that he found a pack of Marlboro cigarettes, a lighter and a pocketknife at the scene, according to court documents. All the witnesses said they heard three to four shots being fired, according to court documents.

Police were called to the Scarborough Walmart at 6:30 p.m. and found Johns in his Jeep. He allegedly confessed to police that he was the shooter when they found him at the back of the Walmart parking lot, according to court documents. He was bleeding when he got out of the vehicle. He 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, according to police. Officers gave Johns a bandage. He was taken to Maine Medical Center where he was treated for his injury.


According to Scarborough Police Lieutenant Timothy Baker the man that was shot at and fled the scene has been in contact with the department. 

“We have had contact with the other parties that were involved in this that did flee the scene. They have not been identified because they wish to remain anonymous in the case. We have confirmed with them through conversation that they were not injured in any way,” said Baker. 

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,” Scarborough Police Chief Mark Holmquist said.

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

Johns, originally of Virginia, had worked briefly in the past at Bath Iron Works, a shipyard spokesman said, although it was unclear what brought him to the area, according to the Portland Press Herald.

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, according to the Portland Press Herald. In Feb. 2020, a man was shot and seriously injured in the parking lot as he loaded groceries into a vehicle.

Police are still investigating the Jan. 12 incident. The Police Department said there is no threat to the surrounding businesses.

Johns’ next court appearance is scheduled for June 14.

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