GARDINER — Two men were taken to area hospitals Thursday after stabbing each other outside the Maine Avenue Hannaford supermarket, police said.

Gardiner Police Chief James Toman said one of the men was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston and the second to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta. Toman would not characterize injuries of either man, but he said both were conscious, alert and walking when police arrived.

The entire incident occurred outside the store, which was never closed, Toman said.

Toman would not identify the men, pending the ongoing police investigation. Police had not filed any charges by late Thursday afternoon.

The stabbing occurred shortly before 3:30 p.m. as police responded to multiple calls about two men fighting in the Hannaford parking lot.

“As the officers responded they got updates that at least one of the men had apparently been stabbed (and) was bleeding,” Toman said.

Officers found the two men had suffered from stab wounds, Toman said.

“This was not a random event,” he said. “These two individuals know each other. They have some type of history.”

Based on accounts from about 10 witnesses and video surveillance footage, police believe the men began to argue and the dispute turned more heated and became a fist fight, Toman said.

“At some point knives were brought out and both men were stabbed,” Toman said.

He said it appeared each man was carrying a knife that he used to stab the other. Toman said investigators will talk to each man again once they’ve received medical attention.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642
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