PORTLAND, Maine — A man charged with two counts of murder in a Westbrook shooting made his first court appearance Wednesday.
Over a four-year span, Lagrange faced charges of terrorizing and several assaults, including an attack on a police officer, a domestic violence assault and criminal threatening.
Lagrange allegedly shot and killed 37-year-old Brittney Cockrell and 41-year-old Michael Hayer, both of Westbrook, in a parking lot off Bridge Street about 8:30 p.m. on Monday evening. Hayer was found dead inside a vehicle in the lot while Cockrell was found dead near it, according to Shannon Moss, a spokesperson for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
The couple had two children, an 11-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl, who were inside the vehicle and had witnessed the shooting, but had not been injured.
Cockrell and Hayter had recently moved to Maine from Texas. The children’s grandparents are traveling to Maine to take care of the children, who are currently in the custody of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
In court on Wednesday, Lagrange appeared to be confused about the year he was born when the judge asked. Throughout his court appearance, he covered an injury to his left eye, which he received when bystanders tackled him on Monday.
A woman who declined to be identified said on Wednesday that she and her boyfriend had met Lagrange four days before the fatal shooting took place, and that Lagrange had texted her that he was going to kill someone.
“In those four days, I quickly realized that he was a very dangerous person,” the woman said. “So I asked to not have contact with him, which is what made him just, he went insane.”
She said that Lagrange came to her house with a gun and stood outside, texting threatening messages to her that he was going to shoot and kill her.
“In one of the text messages that he had texted me, he told me that multiple people were going to pay,” the woman said. “So I feel like this was just like a random spree that he was going on.”
“Portland PD came to my house and asked me to press charges,” the woman said. “I pressed charges. They took a statement. And they were supposed to go look and find him. And they just didn’t get to him quick enough.”
State police have not identified a connection between the victims and Lagrange.