Maine man taken in custody after shots fired outside Lee, NH stores
LEE, N.H. (WMTW) - A man is in custody Saturday after he fired multiple shots in the parking lot outside the Market Basket and neighboring stores in Lee.
Police said officers were dispatched to the Lee Marketplace around 11:40 a.m. for reports of shots fired. Police said a man with a handgun was found standing next to a vehicle outside the Market Basket and Rite Aid stores and refused to comply with commands, so officers set up a perimeter, closed the plaza and locked down all neighboring stores.
The man, later identified as Gordon Falt, 27, was taken into custody around 1:40 p.m. Police said Falt, who is believed to be from Bar Harbor, Maine, turned himself into SWAT officers without incident.
The man did not shoot at police. Police said no one else was shot, and it’s believed that Falt fired multiple shots into the air, prompting the police response.
No injuries were reported. Falt was transported to a local hospital as a precaution.
The plaza and all stores were reopened after Falt was taken into custody. Police said the area is safe.
“We’re so thankful for other agencies that got here quick to put this place on lockdown so quick, to prevent anything from happening further,” Lt. Donald Laliberte, of the Lee Police Department, said.
“It was a textbook operation,” he added.
Managers for the Market Basket and nearby New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet told WMUR in separate interviews that their stores were locked down and said the armed suspect was not in their stores.
Nathan Fredette says he was driving into the Lee Market Place parking lot when he heard gunshots and saw a man holding a gun, pacing back and forth.
“When he went towards his car, he was doing this (raises hands) with the gun still in his hand or pointed at his head and he would just be taking things, like a stereo set out of his car and put it on the truck bed. It was kind of off, just a lot of erratic behavior,” Fredette said.
Fredette says he warned others near the Market Basket and Rite Aid, then called 911 and watched police de-escalate the situation.
“I think the police handled it so well that I feel comfortable that they’re around all the time and they’re quick to respond,” Fredette said.
Tim Sourdiff, a customer who was inside the locked-down Market Basket, told WMUR there were dozens of customers in the supermarket.
“We were shopping normally and the manager gave a nice calm message saying that unfortunately there was news of a shooter and the Lee police were telling us that we were probably going to be locked down in the store, and at that point I think that’s what happened, and he locked it down,” Sourdiff said.
Sourdiff said everyone was very calm and people were using their sense of humor to deal with the situation.
He said customers were being kept about 15 feet from the window, but they were able to see what was going on.
“We can see what looks to be fairly well-armed police and SWAT running around the parking lot. They were gathered in front for a while and it looks like from this outside observation looks like they’re getting a little more serious out there,” Sourdiff said.
The plaza was closed for about 2 hours but is back open.
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