Nancy Laxson still has the last text exchange with her son from the night he was killed.

They had been discussing vacation plans and Laxson suggested camping.

“Lol. I don’t camp,” 19-year-old Treyjon Arsenault responded. He said he wanted to talk. He was weighing whether to become a barber or join the military, his mother said.

They never had the chance.

A few hours after Laxson texted “I love you,” Arsenault was dead, the victim of a shooting in Portland’s Old Port.

Laxson held a news conference Tuesday at her home in Scarborough to discuss the arrests of the people charged with killing him.

Meanwhile, some details of the investigation, including the identity of a key witness in the grand jury proceeding, emerged in court documents released this week.

Members of the Southern Maine Violent Offenders Task Force arrested Gang Deng Majok, 30, of Portland on Monday at his girlfriend’s home at 14 Gooch St. in Saco. He is charged with murder and elevated aggravated assault and is expected to make an initial court appearance Wednesday.

Johnny Ouch, 20, of Westbrook was arrested July 16 and also is charged with murder and elevated aggravated assault.


Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said Tuesday that all suspects in the killing of Arsenault and the wounding of another man are now in custody. Both men were being held in the Cumberland County Jail without bail.

The shootings occurred at Da Block Studios at 371 Fore St. in Portland shortly before midnight on May 25, Memorial Day.

Sauschuck did not release details of the confrontation that led to the shooting of Arsenault, 19, and Mohamed Ali, 21, of Portland, who was injured.

Police did not identify Ali, who was hospitalized after the shootings and has since been released, but he is named in the indictments of both men.

Sauschuck did confirm that Arsenault was not part of the argument that led to the shooting.

Laxson said Arsenault had been sitting on a windowsill listening to music when shots were fired.

“He was running and that’s when he was shot several times. I don’t know why,” she said through tears at the news conference.

Laxson recalled how two weeks before her son’s death, they had gone on their latest mother-son date to celebrate Mother’s Day.

“I don’t know why his life was taken so early, but it was, and now it’s time to let justice come help our family,” said Laxson, who stood beside her mother, Flo Hutchins, and clutched a large framed photograph of Arsenault. He was posing in front of the victory bell that his Westbrook football team would ring after a victory.

Even if the arrests do not bring closure to Laxson and her family – they plan on following the court proceedings closely – it will start the process of bringing the two men to trial, she said.

Arsenault was shot multiple times in the abdomen. Police have said he was among seven to 11 people at the rap recording studio on the building’s third floor when the shooting occurred, and that at least two people were seen running from the scene. Majok has been a suspect since early in the investigation, Sauschuck said.

The chief would not say how or if Majok and Ouch knew each other or how they were connected to the people who were injured.


Majok’s arrest in Saco was done quietly.

A neighbor in the building at 14 Gooch St. said he didn’t notice any police activity when Majok was arrested around 4:15 p.m. Monday. About an hour afterward, Fernando Soriano saw two plainclothes officers questioning two men. He also saw a TV crew, but he thought they were making a documentary.

Soriano, who has lived in the renovated mill building on Factory Island for about four months, didn’t know that Majok was a murder suspect until after he had been arrested.

While authorities were presenting their case against Majok and Ouch to a grand jury this month seeking indictments, they had to arrest a man described as a “key witness” in the case to get him to testify about what he saw on the night of the shooting, according to court records filed this week.

The witness, 19-year-old Jeffrey Silvia of Portland, was stabbed at Da Block Studios during the May 25 shooting but hadn’t cooperated with investigators afterward, according to a police report in his case file. The report documented his arrest on July 8 on an outstanding warrant for a criminal trespassing charge.

Portland police Officer Matthew Morrison said in the report that on July 8, the same week the grand jury was in session, he and Officer Andrew Hagerty had been searching the city trying to find Silvia to serve him with a subpoena. An off-duty officer reported that he had spotted Silvia downtown near the Cumberland County Courthouse.

“Portland Police Department detectives along with the Portland Police Department Crime Reduction Unit have (spent) extended hours of time and resources into locating Jeffrey (Silvia) in attempts to have him testify at grand jury,” Morrison wrote in the report.


Officers took him into custody on the criminal trespassing warrant. They also charged him with violating the conditions of his release.

Silvia appeared in court Monday to face those charges. He pleaded not guilty to the criminal trespassing charge and the court postponed action on the other charge.

Silvia declined to comment about the incident.

Meanwhile, Arsenault’s friends and others in the Westbrook community have continued to honor his memory, raising more than $30,000 to renovate the basketball courts where he often played and a nearby bridge, naming the project for her son, Laxson said.

Laxson has been going to counseling, but is still at the beginning of the grieving process.

“I haven’t started having closure because I’m still waiting for him to come home,” she said. “I’m still waiting for him to walk by the couch and hug me.”


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