Police tape and vehicles block an area of Northern Avenue in Augusta on Monday morning, hours after an officer-involved shooting of a man who had reportedly threatened people with a gun and shot at police. Keith Edwards/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — A Lewiston man who was armed with a gun and threatening other residents has died after police officers shot at him Sunday night in the Sand Hill neighborhood of Augusta, officials said.

The dead man has been identified as Liban S. Mohamed, 22, a spokesperson for the Office of the Maine Attorney General said Monday afternoon.

The response at about 11 p.m. Sunday involved officers from the Augusta Police Department and one from the Maine Capitol Police to an apartment building at 132 Northern Ave., according to a statement released Monday morning to the news media from interim Augusta police Chief Kevin Lully.

He said Sgt. Derek Daley and three Augusta police officers — Matthew Gurney, Andrew Frost and Jonathan Young — responded, as did Officer Ryan Frost of the Capitol police.

Lully said the man, whom he did not initially identify, shot at the uniformed officers, who returned fire.

On Monday afternoon, Lully said Mohamed’s last known address was in Lewiston and that officers found him dead inside the Augusta apartment building.


None of the officers were injured, Lully said. But a neighbor said it appeared one officer went down to the ground after the shooting, and dispatch records show a rescue team transported someone to the hospital. Police were later heard trying to urge the suspect out of the apartment building.

The Maine State Police Tactical Team and Crisis Negotiation Team responded and secured the residence.

“We do not believe there is a risk to the public at this time,” Lully said Monday morning.

Officers said motorists Monday morning were likely to encounter traffic delays and detours on Northern Avenue, between St. Augustine’s Church and Calumet Park, while police were investigating the scene.


Neighbor Terry Sounier, who lives a couple of buildings away, said he was walking his dog Sunday night when an Augusta police officer approached the Northern Avenue building while carrying what Sounier described as an M4 assault rifle.


Terry Sounier on Monday describes the police shootout on Northern Avenue that he witnessed Sunday night. Sounier says he lives a couple of buildings away and was walking his dog when the incident began. Keith Edwards/Kennebec Journal

Sounier said he asked the officer if everything was OK. The officer said he was not sure and advised Sounier return home.

Three other officers then came along and were yelling toward the apartment building, according to Sounier. Gunfire broke out, and Sounier said the four officers appeared to aim upward and shoot their rifles at one of the apartment building’s windows, which Sounier could not see from his location a couple of buildings away.

“They were yelling, ‘Show us your hands!’ and that type of thing, and, next thing you know, gunshots went off and they also returned fire,” Sounier said. “I could only see the cops, so I’m assuming he was in the window. And he obviously had a weapon. It was pretty scary, actually. I wanted to get video, but at the same time it was ‘pop, pop, pop, pop,’ and there was multiple shots, so it was kind of scary.”

Sounier said it sounded like there were as many as 60 shots fired between police in the street and the apartment building.

Sounier also said an officer went down during the incident and was lying on the ground outside the building for about a half-hour after the exchange of gunfire. Sounier said he could see that the officer was breathing and moving while on the ground.

While Lully said no officers were injured in the incident, dispatch records show an Augusta Rescue ambulance responded to the scene at 11:21 p.m. Sunday and  left for the hospital at 1:20 a.m. Monday, arriving seven minutes later at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta.


Sounier said that after the gunfire, he could hear police trying to talk to the suspect, who was apparently still inside the building. Sounier said they asked him to come out, and said he would not be harmed if he did. Sounier said he could not hear if the man was responding to police.

At one point, according to Sounier, police deployed a drone and sent a robot on tracks across the street, approaching the apartment building.

Police tape and vehicles block an area of Northern Avenue in Augusta on Monday morning, hours after an officer-involved shooting of a man who had reportedly threatened people with a gun and shot at police. Keith Edwards/Kennebec Journal

Sounier said he has lived in Augusta for most his life, including with his aunt in the Northern Avenue neighborhood since July. He said the neighborhood has been peaceful and he did not know who the neighbor was who was reportedly shot by police.

Resident Donald James Fortier II said he was also near the scene Sunday night, in an old school bus he has converted into a mobile home.

He said he heard “three to four groupings of rounds fired” at about 11:30 p.m. from where he was parked at the top of Jefferson Street. Earlier in the night, police had directed people to move vehicles there while public works crews cleared snow from Northern Avenue.

“Didn’t figure out what was happening until the last grouping of four rounds,” Fortier said. “Saw police swarm, then an ambulance pulled up and seemed to load someone before heading off up the hill past me.”


He said it was hard to see what was going on in the dark, with numerous police strobe lights flashing.



Lully said the officers involved in the shooting — Daley, Gurney, Frost and Young — have been placed on administrative leave with pay.

“As is standard practice during every officer involved shooting, this incident is currently being investigated by the Office of the Attorney General, who will focus upon the use of deadly force by law enforcement,” Lully said in the statement released to the news media. “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in this heartbreaking incident.”

Officers gather Monday outside the scene of a police shootout at 132 Northern Ave. in Augusta. A man was shot and killed by officers Sunday night after police say he exchanged fire with them and threatened neighbors. Keith Edwards/Kennebec Journal

A message sent Monday morning by the Augusta School Department to parents of students said the Augusta Police Department had responded to an incident with an armed individual Sunday night and “has been in contact with the individual throughout the night.”

The message indicated Augusta police felt there was no risk to the public and it was safe for schools to operate normally Monday. It advised parents to be aware of traffic changes near Sand Hill.

The apartment building at 132 Northern Ave. is a three-story, 11-unit residence built in 1928. It is owned by an out-of-state company, Mayfair and Maine LLC, which bought the building last November, according to city tax records.

Police from Augusta and the Maine State Police remained at the scene until at least Monday afternoon, with the section of Northern Avenue between Jefferson and Oxford streets closed to traffic. The area in front of 132 Northern Ave. was cordoned off with police crime scene tape.

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