WESTBROOK, Maine (TCD) -- Bystanders helped apprehend a 24-year-old man accused of fatally shooting two people in their car while their two young children witnessed the slaying from the vehicle’s back seat.
According to Maine State Police, on Monday, June 19, at 8:28 p.m., Westbrook Police responded to a call about a shooting near Main and Bridge streets and saw a man firing at a woman in a parking lot. They discovered 37-year-old Brittney Cockrell and 41-year-old Michael Hayter deceased in a vehicle with their 11-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter in the back. The children witnessed the shooting, but police said they were not injured.
The suspect, Marcel LaGrange Jr., reportedly fled and "physically assaulted a bystander during his pursuit." Maine State Police identified that victim as 75-year-old Fred Roukey and said he went to the hospital with minor injuries.
Witnesses nearby tackled LaGrange and took his gun away until police arrived.
Police detained LaGrange and took him to the Cumberland County Jail, where he was booked on two counts of murder. The Medical Examiner’s Office reportedly determined Hayter and Cockrell died of gunshot wounds and their manner of death was homicide.
Maine State Police said there is "no known connection between the victims and Marcel LaGrange Jr."
WGME-TV reports a man working at a nearby market took the children out of the car so they wouldn’t have to see their parents’ bodies.
LaGrange’s criminal record dates back to 2018 with charges of terrorizing, assault, domestic violence, and other crimes.
According to WGME, a woman who met LaGrange a few days prior to the shooting said he showed up to her house and threatened to kill her. The woman called Portland Police and pressed charges. She said she "quickly realized that he was a very dangerous person" and tried not to have any contact with him.