SCARBOROUGH — As Treyjon Arsenault’s parents and friends gathered for his funeral Monday, police released few new details about his death, saying they have yet to interview all the witnesses to the shooting in the Old Port a week ago.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office said Monday that the 19-year-old was shot multiple times, but a spokesman for the office would not give a specific number. Portland police refused to discuss how many times the Westbrook High School graduate was shot.

Police have said they are seeking “at least two” suspects who were last seen running through the dark streets of the Old Port after the shooting late on May 25 at Da Block Studios Inc., a recording studio on Market Street. Another man was wounded in the shooting.

That night, witnesses reported seeing four officers carrying the body of a man who appeared to have been shot in the stomach. Police said Arsenault was pronounced dead at Maine Medical Center early last Tuesday.

Arsenault’s family told the Portland Press Herald last week that investigators told them the teen was a bystander and not the intended target of the shooting, but police have not confirmed that.

Acting Police Chief Vern Malloch said Monday that one reason why police are being reticent about releasing details is that detectives have not interviewed all of the witnesses. Malloch would not say whether police have been able to identify everyone there but have not located them, or if they are still trying to identify witnesses.


He did ask that anyone who was present at the recording studio at the time to contact police at 874-8575.

Lt. James Sweatt, head of investigations for the department, said the second shooting victim remains hospitalized. Police have interviewed the 20-year-old, who has been cooperative, but police access has been limited because of his medical treatment, Sweatt said. The man has not been identified by police because the gunmen are still at large.

Police often withhold details about a case because they don’t want to influence witnesses’ recollections or give suspects any information about the progress of an investigation.

Police also are still collecting evidence at the crime scene. The recording studio occupies the entire third floor of the building at the corner of Market and Fore streets.

Sweatt said he did not want to comment on the timing and methods of processing evidence at the crime lab. Speaking generally, and not specifically about this case, he said: “We don’t like to stir suspects and alarm them too much.”

There are other reasons why police are keeping much of the information from the public.


“When we have a tighter control of specific information, we know what individuals know. We are the only ones that know certain details,” Sweatt said. That helps investigators gauge the reliability of information they receive.

Malloch said that even though police are providing little public information, residents “should not be fearful.”

“There’s nothing to suggest that the perpetrators are a threat to anyone at this particular time,” he said without elaborating.

As detectives continued to investigate the facts in the case, the pastor of St. Maximilian Kolbe Church in Scarborough asked the more spiritual question of why Arsenault died.

” ‘Why?’ is one of the first questions children learn to ask. And in cases like this one, it is the question that occurs,” Monsignor Michael Henchal told the hundreds of mourners who gathered before him Monday.

Henchal said that in the past week, he has tried to make sense of how a popular young man beloved by so many in the community would be taken so early in life. Arsenault was a co-captain on Westbrook High’s football team before graduating last year and has been described by friends and family as friendly and caring, the type of person more apt to avoid trouble than seek it out.


“I know, and I hope you know, the whole community grieves with you,” Henchal told members of Arsenault’s family, who were sitting at the front of the church. “Words are a pathetically blunt instrument at such a time. Silence is much more profound language at this point when we confront something as unspeakable as this tragedy.”

Henchal said as he thought through Arsenault’s death, he considered that some would try to blame Arsenault for putting himself in harm’s way.

“There will be rumors that there was something that he was doing, but the reason that breaks down when confronted with the facts is there was no reason we should blame Treyjon for something that was out of his control,” Henchal said. “We can’t figure out a reason, but surely God knows.”

That led him to question how a just God would allow such a cruel tragedy if Arsenault was undeserving of such a violent death.

“Maybe there is no reason at all. Maybe life is simply random and meaningless. Maybe there is no God at all. Maybe it’s just luck of the draw,” Henchal said.

But in the end of his sermon, Henchal concluded that for some questions, there are no answers. Instead he told the crowd of mourners to look toward themselves and those around them to see that Arsenault’s life brought so many to love him and bring them all together after his death.


“Love is always strong, always stronger even than death,” Henchal said. “Think of the love that has come forth for Treyjon from yourselves and from this community in the last week, the love from each other that is a part of you and the community.”

Five of Arsenault’s former classmates spoke afterward, followed by Arsenault’s uncle, Steve Arsenault, all describing the young man they remember.

“I didn’t expect to be here today at my buddy’s funeral, but some things don’t go according to plan,” said Kyle Heath, Arsenault’s longtime friend. “It’s tough to come up here and speak about Trey. But I know he would want me to man up in this situation and put my heart out there for him, and he would do the same for me.”


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