The 25-year-old man who exchanged gunfire with Gorham police as they tried to apprehend him Wednesday was suicidal and wanted police to kill him, a prosecutor said in court Friday.

Aaron Bouchard of Saco was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail by Judge E. Paul Eggert at his initial appearance in Cumberland County Unified Court.

He is charged with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and terrorizing. All are felonies punishable by up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine or both.

His attorney, Heather Gonzalez, said Bouchard had been experiencing mental health problems and despite attempts to get treatment, his condition worsened Wednesday.

“He needs to be in a hospital,” Gonzalez said. “He was suicidal. He is suicidal. He basically just snapped.”

According to Assistant District Attorney Carlos Diaz, Bouchard drove to a location along Route 202 in Gorham, near where he grew up.

Police had said in an earlier statement that they communicated with Bouchard via text message at the scene.

Diaz said Bouchard emerged from the wooded area where he had been hiding, and from a moderate distance, fired three rounds, which passed above the heads of the police officers.

Gorham Police Chief Dan Jones, who exchanged gunfire with Bouchard, was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, a standard step whenever deadly force is used by a police officer.

No one was injured in the incident, which shut down a portion of Route 202 in Gorham.

Despite the gunfire, the District Attorney’s Office chose not to proceed on the most serious charge, attempted murder, which could have carried a penalty of up to 30 years in prison.

In requesting bail, Gonzalez said Bouchard’s family does not have the money to pay the cash component, but they are seeking treatment for Bouchard, although options are limited.

“I would ask for 60-day inpatient at Riverview, but there is no room there,” Gonzalez said.

Absent a plan to hospitalize Bouchard, Eggert agreed to the state’s bail request of $50,000.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at:

[email protected]