LEE, Maine — An Aroostook County man with a long criminal history was arrested Friday in connection with a northern Maine rampage in which two people were shot to death, three others wounded and another beaten.
Maine State Police took Anthony Lord, 35, of Crystal and Houlton into custody about 2:30 p.m. at the Houlton residence of his uncle. Police said Lord, who was taken to the Aroostook County Jail, will face two murder charges and a kidnapping charge. Other charges are expected.
Killed were Kevin Tozier, 58, of Lee and Kyle Hewitt, 22, of Caribou, according to Stephen McCausland, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman. Wounded were Kim Irish, 55, Carlton Eddy of Benedicta and Clayton McCarthy, 54, of Mattawamkeag.
The three surviving gunshot victims are being treated for their wounds and “are expected to survive,” McCausland said.
Kary Mayo of Silver Ridge Township reportedly was tied to a chair and beaten.
Lord was arrested without incident after an intense manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies in northern Penobscot and southern Aroostook counties.
After Lord’s arrest, Lt. Sean Hashey, Troop E commander, described the 18-hour spree of mayhem allegedly committed by the convicted sex offender but offered no answer about the motive.
“The motive is still being looked into. Obviously there is lots of work to be done,” Hashey said. “As I have gone down through everything that’s happened, it’s happened in a very short amount of time. We know a lot, but there’s a lot of questions to be answered still. That’s one of them.”
The series of events involving Lord began with a barn fire that broke out about 8:30 p.m. Thursday on Aroostook Road in Benedicta, Hashey said during a news conference at the Lincoln police station. Lord is suspected of starting the fire in the barn, which was next to Irish’s house.
Lord then drove to neighboring Silver Ridge Township where a “male resident was tied up and assaulted,” Hashey said, referring to Mayo. Lord allegedly took Mayo’s gun and his pickup truck about 4:50 a.m. Friday.
Lord then drove back to Benedicta, near the scene of the fire, where he shot Hewitt and Irish about 5:15 a.m., Hashey said. Hewitt, the boyfriend of Irish’s daughter Brittany Irish, was flown by LifeFlight helicopter to a hospital “and later died,” Hashey said.
At that point, Lord kidnapped Brittany Irish, 21, who police said he knew. About 5:18 a.m, Eddy, a passer-by who drove into the Irish family’s driveway, was wounded in the shoulder by a bullet that went through a side window of his vehicle, McCausland said.
At about 5:50 a.m., Lord reportedly was involved in a high-speed chase with East Millinocket police in Medway near Interstate 95. Lord fired a gun at a pursuing East Millinocket police officer, McCausland said.
Lord then drove to Winn Road in Lee, where he entered a woodlot where Tozier and McCarthy were working about 6:20 a.m. and allegedly shot them. Lord took a pulp truck from the woodlot and eluded police until his arrest at 77 North St. in Houlton.
Carl Lord Jr., owner of the home where his nephew was apprehended, posted on his Facebook page late Friday afternoon that he was home at the time Lord surrendered to police.
“We are all safe, Anthony gave himself up,” Carl Lord wrote. He added that his nephew unloaded the weapon in front of him and dropped it before he walked away. He said that Anthony Lord also handed him a knife that he was carrying.
“At no time did I think I was in any danger,” wrote Carl Lord.
Another eyewitness to the arrest also said Anthony Lord surrendered himself without incident.
Kim Keaton, an employee of the Cigaret Shopper across the street from Carl Lord’s residence, said she first saw a woman escorted from the residence. The crying woman was placed inside a police cruiser.
“The cops were everywhere,” Keaton said. “He came out of the house with his hands in the air and stood in front of the garage. That was when the cops tackled him. Then we just saw police with big guns. There were probably 25 cops there. They did a really good job.”
“It was crazy,” Marie Jones of Caribou said. She said she was traveling north when police cars suddenly blocked the road in Houlton and several cruisers “swerved around us.” After she pulled over, Jones said she had no view of the yard where police converged.
Anthony Lord eluded police for several hours before his arrest. Troopers searched for the stolen pulp truck, a 2010 maroon Peterbilt with green lettering on the side saying “McCarthy,” and blocked off major roads in the Lee area.
Armed police officers and agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection stopped and checked vehicles leaving the U.S. at the Houlton port of entry late Friday morning as the manhunt intensified. Normally, cars heading into Canada only stop at the Canadian checkpoint on the way out.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter also could be seen circling Greater Houlton.
Jessica Murchison of Houlton said Friday morning she was traveling to Woodstock, New Brunswick, for a shopping trip, and it was the first time in her memory she encountered armed guards stopping vehicles before entering into Canada.
“I almost wanted to turn around and go home,” she said. “It kind of takes the wind out of your sails.”
The Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office also alerted residents of southern Aroostook and northern Penobscot counties just after 11 a.m. that they should remove keys from their vehicles and be patient while police from several agencies were searching for Lord.
Angela White of Smyrna said late Friday morning that police stopped her vehicle at a checkpoint on Route 11 in Sherman.
“I have never experienced anything like this in my life,” she said. “I am keeping my kids in the house and locking all the doors and windows.”
In Hodgdon, Tammy Kerekes planned to go to the lake for the day with her son and her friend’s son when the friend called to ask whether she heard a rumor the alleged shooter was in the area.
“I told her no, that I had not heard that, and I drove to the end of my road — the Catalina Road — and saw two U.S. border patrol agents there,” Kerekes said. When she asked them about what she had heard, officers told her the suspect had been spotted on White Settlement Road in Hodgdon.
She also said one of the officers told her that if she were his wife, he would advise her to “stay home with the doors locked.”
After that advice, she said, she dropped her friend’s son off at his home and decided she would stay indoors with all doors and windows locked for the remainder of the day.
Steven McDonald of Bangor stopped in Benedicta briefly Friday to meet with a friend and was surprised to hear about the violence.
“This is Aroostook County, so you don’t expect any kind of crime, really,” he said. “But I know there used to be a large sisterhood of Catholic nuns here. This is a peaceful, rural town.”
Maine State Police established a command post at Lee Academy early Friday and searched the area of Ridge Road in Lee.
Harold Welch, a resident of Winn Road in Lee, said he didn’t know the town was on lockdown until a state police officer knocked on his door and told him a manhunt was in progress.
“It looks like every officer they can get from here and Washington County is around,” Welch said.
Welch said he saw a group of three or four police cars about 8:30 a.m. in a field north of his residence.
Lord is a lifetime registrant on the Maine Sex Offender Registry for three unlawful sexual contact crimes committed in Aroostook County involving a person under the age of 14. He was convicted of all three crimes in September 2004 and was sentenced in March 2005 to five years in prison with 18 months suspended, according to the registry. He also was sentenced to four years of probation after his release from prison.
Lord also pleaded guilty in February to a domestic violence assault charge from January in Millinocket, according to Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy.
The mother of Lord’s child called police to report that he became aggressive after she had to work late, Almy said in an email about the Jan. 23 crime. “[Lord grabbed her] by the throat and pushed her into the door frame and called her [derogatory names]. The children were present. The [victim] had abrasions on her neck.”
Lord was sentenced to 10 months with all but 45 days suspended and two years of probation, and he also lost his license to drive for 30 days and was ordered to pay a fine of $575 for driving to endanger during the incident.
Lord was ordered to participate in a Batterers Intervention Program and recently had tried to get his probation amended so he could have contact with the victim and to get out of having to participate in the program, Almy said.
“We objected due to concerns about the victim’s safety,” Almy said. “We tried to locate the victim and found out she is safe, but I do not want to tell you where she is.”
Lord’s criminal record also includes drunken driving in 2008, trafficking in tobacco in a correctional facility from 2006 and a theft from 2003 that resulted in one year behind bars and an order to pay $6,877 in restitution, as well as two criminal threatening convictions from 1999 and 2002, an assault conviction from 2002, a probation violation from 2003 and a gross sexual assault in 2002 that was reduced to unlawful sexual contact.
Maine State Police also continue to investigate the death of Lord’s 6-month-old son, Larry Earl Lord, who died on May 7, two days after he was found unresponsive by his mother at her Katahdin Avenue home in Millinocket, McCausland said.
Hashey described Anthony Lord as “connected” to that case, “but that connection again is being looked into,” he said. “That’s an ongoing investigation.”
The boy’s mother on May 5 called for an ambulance, which brought him to Millinocket Regional Hospital. A LifeFlight helicopter moved him to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he died two days later, McCausland said in June.
State police investigate all untimely infant deaths, suspicious or otherwise. McCausland said Friday he did not know whether the shootings had anything to do with the death of Lord’s son.
Bangor Daily News writers Julia Bayly, Jen Lynds, Nick McCrea, Nok-Noi Ricker and Nick Sambides Jr., along with Houlton Pioneer Times writer Joe Cyr, contributed to this report.