A Saturday night shooting near the University of Maine at Augusta’s Bangor campus stemmed from a dispute between residents of the needle-strewn, drug-infested homeless encampment that has festered for more than two years at the campus’s southeastern edge.
The shooting occured Saturday night and resulted in one individual being hospitalized with gunshot wounds, according to the Bangor Police Department.
No arrests have been made.
The shooting was the culmination of an altercation between two individuals living at the homeless camp, the Bangor Police said.
The camp, which has taken over much of what used to be a park between Cleveland Street and Texas Ave., has between 50-150 residents living in tents, campers, vehicles, and jerry-rigged tarp cabins.
Last year, during a visit by the Maine Wire, multiple residents of the encampment said the site was frequented by fentanyl traffickers, and hundreds of needles could be seen littered about the former park.
One man said he could easily obtain a fentanyl delivery in just a few minutes if he wanted to. Another woman insisted that she was a raccoon.
The University of Maine at Augusta’s senior leadership, informed of the incident by Rob Marden, Director of Campus Operations, was quick to say that no students, staff, or faculty were present on campus at the time, according to a copy of an email obtained by the Maine Wire.
The incident highlights a growing concern within Bangor over the challenges posed by homeless individuals and fentanyl-related crime.
For more than two years, the camp, which sits on city property, has functioned as a de facto drug legalization site, where residents are free to sell and consume hard drugs without fear of law enforcement harassment.
The university has taken steps to ensure campus safety, including the erection of a privacy barrier last fall after a series of minor incidents linked to the encampment.