Public warned to stay away amid police standoff with gunman at burning home in Maine

Police entered into a standoff with a gunman at a burning house in Maine early on Saturday June 15, 2024  (Screenshot / Sun Journal)
Police entered into a standoff with a gunman at a burning house in Maine early on Saturday June 15, 2024 (Screenshot / Sun Journal)

Police have warned the public in Auburn, Maine to avoid an area where law enforcement entered into a standoff with a gunman at a burning home.

A shelter-in-place order has been lifted, police said on Facebook just after 6am.

In a statement to the Lewiston Sun Journal, police said: “There is no danger to the public.”

They added: “There will continue to be a heavy police and fire presence around the scene. Officials ask the public to avoid the area if possible.”

The Independent has contacted Auburn Police and Maine State Police for comment.

One woman was shot and taken to Central Maine Medical Center, according to the Sun Journal, but the total number injured is unclear.

Fire and rescue crews, and police, rushed to Russell Avenue in Auburn, western Maine early on Saturday morning after gunfire and explosions were reported, and at least two houses caught on fire.

The gunman was reported to be holed up in a garage in the area but it remains unclear if he was alone at the residence. Fire crews were at the scene to douse the houses while police worked to locate the gunman. Homes in the immediate vicinity were evacuated and a part of the street was blocked off.

An emergency alert was sent out to area residents telling them to shelter in place and Central Maine Power shut down electricity to the area.

The Maine Police State tactical team got to the area at about 2.45am when the gunman was still at large.

Jeremy Perron got a phone call from a neighbor saying that the house next door to his was in flames and that he should leave. Moments later, he got a second call from the neighbor saying that he should stay in the home as there was a gunman shooting at police, he told the Lewiston Sun Journal.

Police later told Perron he needed to get out. While going to his garage to get his car, he could hear a man say: “Don’t do it! Don’t do it, man! I don’t want to hurt anybody.”

Another resident told the paper that the gunman was heard screaming at police and another individual, possibly a girlfriend. As the situation unfolded, about 10 gunshots could be heard during the span of a minute.

Androscoggin County Sheriff deputies also responded to the scene as did police from Lewiston and Mechanic Falls.

Auburn fire captain Chris Moretto said three explosions could be heard at about 2.15am, which were thought to be connected to the fire. Another explosion was heard shortly before 3am as more state police officers got to the area.

At 3.15am, heavy smoke was seen overhead and by 3.30am, those watching the situation from their porches were told by police to head inside and go down into their basements. At around 4am, the situation was still ongoing, police wrote on social media.