GARDINER — City police are looking for an Augusta man they believe to be armed and dangerous in connection with a shooting on Spring Street early Thursday morning.
The victim, a 26-year-old man, was shot in the leg around 12:30 a.m. Thursday inside his apartment at 32 Spring St., Police Chief James Toman said.
The shooting is the second in as many months in Gardiner.
Police continued to look for the suspect in Thursday’s shooting, Paul Nicholas Coyne, 30, who has a lengthy police record that includes numerous felony and drug convictions. Toman said there are seven active warrants against Coyne.
“Coyne should be considered armed and dangerous,” Toman said in a news release, adding that the shooting was not a random act of violence. “We do not believe that the public is in danger.”
The victim, whose name was not released, was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston and is expected to make a full recovery, Toman said.
The shooting was reported at 12:25 a.m. Officers found a man in the living room, suffering from a gunshot wound. He was conscious and could speak to police. Gardiner Rescue took the man to the hospital.
Coyne fled the apartment before police arrived, Toman said in the release. Police believe the man was shot with a handgun. Federal law prohibits Coyne from carrying a firearm because he is a convicted felon.
Toman said Coyne is white, about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 170 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Coyne has an Augusta address, but is known to frequent places in the Waterville and Mercer areas, Toman said.
Coyne may be a passenger in a silver 2001 Chevrolet Impala four-door being driven by his girlfriend. The Maine license plate number is 6178 TN.
A statewide radio bulletin went out to all Maine police Thursday afternoon. According to that bulletin, Coyne’s girlfriend may face criminal charges as well.
Coyne has a lengthy conviction history dating back to at least 2003, according to Kennebec Journal reports. His most recent conviction was in February 2013, when he was sentenced to four years in jail, with all but six months suspended and two years probation, in addition to a $400 fine for a conviction of assault with a dangerous weapon and unlawful possession of scheduled drugs. Coyne reportedly stabbed a man during a fight about drugs in Winthrop.
Coyne was convicted in August 2009 of theft, eluding an officer, operating under the influence, refusing to submit to arrest or detention and criminal speed after leading police on a 30-mile pursuit during which Coyne rammed a police cruiser in Augusta. Coyne was sentenced to 30 months in jail and his license was suspended for two years. He was ordered to pay more than $1,800 in restitution to the Maine State Police and fined $700.
In June 2008 Coyne was sentenced in Kennebec County Superior Court to two years in jail, all of which was suspended and on year of probation, in addition to a $400 fine, for a conviction of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs.
Thursday’s shooting was the second in Gardiner in as many months. Police were called to Costello Road around 6 p.m., on Saturday, Dec. 7, after a woman was shot in the torso. The victim, who has not been identified, was flown to CMMC with what were believed to be non life-threatening injuries.
Sean Kingston, 38, was arrested two days later on a charged of possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Toman said at the time that there may be additional charges.
Toman asked anyone with information Coyne’s whereabouts to call Gardiner Police at 582-3211.
Craig Crosby — 621-5642 [email protected]