A Sanford man is in stable condition after being stabbed multiple times early Thursday morning by two men who stole his bike near one of the city’s homeless hot spots, according to the Sanford Police.
At about 4:30 a.m. Thursday, Sanford Police were called to the intersection of Emery Street and Heritage Crossing due to a report of a stabbing and gunshots.
Police said witnesses told them two males approached William Southworth, 38, and stole his bicycle, leading to a physical confrontation in which one of the men fired three to four gunshots and the other stabbed Southworth multiple times in the back.
Southworth was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he is in stable condition, according to officials.
Police say there is no threat to public safety in connection to the incident, though they have not announced any arrests.
An investigation into the incident by the police department’s Criminal Investigation Division is ongoing.
The stabbing occurred just down the street from where the city’s syringe exchange program operated outside of an old mill building until it was shut down in July, after local business owners complained of safety issues and homeless individuals shooting up drugs in their bathrooms.
According to Sanford’s Homelessness Taskforce, there were 83 homeless individuals living in the city as of Sept. 19.
The taskforce say they are exploring a proposal from a Sanford Police officer to allow for a centralized homeless encampment to provide a centralized location for service providers, crime monitoring, and an organized location for trash, sanitation, and other services.