Maine State Police are investigating several shootings that occurred in the towns of Bowdoin and Yarmouth on Tuesday morning.
Four people were found shot to death at a home on Augusta Road in Bowdoin on Tuesday morning. A short time later, around 10:30 a.m., three people were shot while driving their vehicles southbound on Interstate 295 between Mile Marker 17 and Exit 15 in Yarmouth, according to state police.
The three victims shot while driving on the highway were taken to an area hospital, and police said one of them is in critical condition.
Maine State Police said Tuesday evening that 34-year-old Joseph Eaton of Bowdoin had been arrested on murder charges in the Augusta Road shooting.
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Both shooting incidents are connected, police said. A person of interest has been detained, and authorities said they have determined that there is no threat to the public at this time. The person of interest has not yet been identified.
Bowdoin and Yarmouth are located about 25 miles apart on I-295.
The bodies of the four people who were found dead in Bowdoin were taken to the chief medical examiner's office in Augusta, where autopsies will be performed to determine the manner and cause of death. The victims have not yet been identified.
Anyone who was involved in or witnessed either of the shootings is asked to call the Augusta Regional Communications Center at 207-624-7076, option 9.
'Shooting incident' on I-295
The Maine Department of Transportation said on Twitter around 11:15 a.m. that they had closed the southbound side of the highway at the request of state police.
Details on the incident were initially quite scarce.
"I can only confirm that there has been an incident on the interstate in Yarmouth, but there is no longer an active threat or danger to the public," Shannon Moss, a state police spokesperson, said in an email Tuesday morning. She later confirmed that multiple people had been injured, one seriously, in a shooting.
Firearm recovered, 'single suspect in custody'
The town of Yarmouth said in a Facebook post around 1 p.m. that police had recovered a firearm that was missing from the scene and "the single suspect" was in custody. In an earlier post, the town had confirmed that there was "a shooting incident" on I-295 on Tuesday morning "involving multiple vehicles" near the Royal River.
"The Police advise that there is no active threat to the community now and no need for lockdowns. Sections of the interstate will remain closed for a while as police continue their investigation. Other areas that were closed off will be reopened as soon as possible."
Later Tuesday evening, state police identified Eaton as the suspect and confirmed he was facing murder charges. Eaton was taken to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset and is expected to appear in court later this week.
Investigators spent hours working both scenes, and I-295 only reopened from Exit 17 to Exit 15 in Yarmouth by about 4:40 p.m., with only Exit 15 south still closed.
InterMed, a healthcare provider in Maine, said shortly before noon that it had temporarily locked down its Yarmouth facility "as advised by authorities." Everyone in their building is safe, they said.
The agency provided an update shortly after 1 p.m. saying that they had received the all clear from authorities.