BENEDICTA, Maine — Carlton Eddy made a small detour when driving to work early Friday morning in order to see the damage a fire had done to his neighbor’s barn the night before.
The decision put the 60-year-old local man in the middle of a kidnapping and shooting spree that would leave him with three bullet wounds, and two others dead.
Anthony Lord, 35, was arrested later Friday in Houlton on two counts of murder and kidnapping
in connection with the rampage that included the shootings of five people and beating of another.
What Eddy didn’t know as he drove his pickup truck toward the burned barn was that Lord had started the fire on the property of Kim Irish, according to police. Hours later, at around 5:15 a.m., Lord shot Irish, 55, and Kyle Hewitt, 22, formerly of Caribou, in Irish’s home. Lord was attempting to kidnap Kim Irish’s daughter, Brittany Irish, 21, when Eddy entered the picture.
At about 5:18 a.m., Eddy drove up and was shocked by what he saw.
“[Brittany Irish] came out of the woods. She was saying, ‘He did it. He did it,’” Eddy said Monday during a telephone interview with the Bangor Daily News. “She jumped into the back of my truck.”
Brittany Irish had just escaped her parent’s home by going out a bathroom window but was pursued by a gun-toting Lord, according to an affidavit filed in court by Detective Paul White of the state police Major Crimes Unit North.
Eddy said that when he first saw Lord, who he knows because Lord works on vehicles in the area, “He had the most demonic look on his face. And a [expletive]-eating grin.
“He came out of the bushes and he started loading the gun,” Eddy said. “I couldn’t believe it.”
Eddy had stopped his vehicle when the young woman got into the back of his pickup truck. He tried to put it into gear to get away from the man with the gun, but he put it in neutral in his panic. As he fruitlessly revved the engine, Lord had time to run to the back of the truck to grab Brittany Irish. That’s when the gunfire began.
“He let me have it through the back window,” Eddy recalled, saying Lord shot him three times — in the shoulder, near the collarbone and in his lower back — with a .22-caliber handgun. “I think he got mad when that girl jumped into the back of my truck.”
According to the affidavit, Lord admitted jumping on the back of the truck and “shooting at the driver until he stopped.”
Eddy said after he was shot, “I kinda blacked out.” When he awoke, “[I] ducked my head and sped home” to call 911.
Lord admitted to grabbing Brittany Irish from Eddy’s truck and taking her back to another vehicle and leaving the area, according to the affidavit.
It was several hours later that Eddy learned the extent of Lord’s 18-hour shooting and kidnapping spree. Eddy was treated at Millinocket Regional Hospital and was released Saturday night.
Lord, who has a long criminal history and is a lifetime registrant on the Maine Sex Offender Registry, was arrested at 2:30 p.m. Friday at his uncle’s home by officers from Houlton Police Department and Maine State Police.
Hewitt was taken by a LifeFlight helicopter to a medical center and later died of his wounds. Also killed was Kevin Tozier, 58, of Lee, who was shot while working in a woodlot on Winn Road in Lee. Tozier was with Clayton McCarthy, 54, of Mattawamkeag, who also was shot, but survived. After both men were shot, Lord took McCarthy’s pulp truck and headed north, according to police.
“Lord admitted to shooting Kevin Tozier and Clayton McCarthy at a woodlot in Lee after one of them noticed Brittany had an injury to her arm and asked about it,” the court affidavit states.
Tozier was hit by three .22-caliber rounds.
Hewitt was shot eight times with the same handgun, the court document states.
Kim Irish said Sunday that Hewitt was asleep on the couch when shot by Lord.
Eddy said he thought Lord liked him. That was before Lord walked out of the bushes near the Irish home carrying the small handgun.
“He would have finished me off, if he had a bigger gun,” Eddy said. “I guess it just wasn’t my time.”