A Portland man already on probation for his involvement in a 2010 murder has now been charged in connection with a shooting and stabbing Monday in the city’s Old Port.

Police arrested Moses Okot, 27, within minutes after the shooting at the intersection of Market and Fore streets on a probation violation for the 2010 murder but did not charge him until Thursday with being a felon in possession of a handgun.

Okot briefly appeared in U.S. District Court in Portland on Thursday afternoon to face the charge. Magistrate Judge John H. Rich III ordered him temporarily held pending a detention hearing on Dec. 1.

Filings in both federal and state courts give no indication of Okot’s motive to stab and shoot one man and then shoot another man multiple times around 12:20 a.m. Monday. Documents in both courts state that a police officer patrolling the area of the shooting pursued Okot almost immediately.

Portland police Officer Zachary Theriault was driving his cruiser on Pearl Street about a block away when he heard six distinct gunshots nearby.

“As I passed the intersection of Pearl Street and Milk Street, I looked to my left and observed a dark blue sedan traveling northbound on Market Street at a very high rate of speed,” Theriault wrote in his report. “Knowing that the sound of gunshots had just come from the area and seeing this vehicle at such a high speed leaving the area, I thought this was suspicious and immediately tried to catch up with the vehicle.”

Theriault chased the car, a 2011 Hyundai Sonata, as it went through a stop sign without pausing and went on to Oxford Street, where he found it abandoned and saw a man running away toward the rear of a house at 136 Oxford St., he wrote in the report filed in state court.

“Soon thereafter, other officers assisting with perimeter security observed a male consistent with the driver’s description on the third-story porch of a nearby building. Officers approached the male and identified him as Moses Okot. He was wearing a white T-shirt and light colored jeans. Officers observed that Okot had a laceration to his head. Officers asked Okot about the nature of his injury. Okot offered no response,” Daniel Hondo, a Portland police officer assigned to the FBI’s Southern Maine Gang Task Force, said in an affidavit filed in federal court seeking a warrant for Okot’s arrest.

Okot was taken to Mercy Hospital in Portland to be treated for his injury, and police tested him and found traces of gunpowder residue on his hands.

Officers also found shell casings on the outside windshield wiper area of the abandoned Hyundai Sonata, Hondo said in the affidavit.

In court on Thursday, Okot had a bandage covering half of his forehead above his right eye. His attorney, Peter Cyr, also asked the magistrate judge to require he receive medical attention while in jail for a sleep disorder, heart condition, internal bleeding and balance issues.

As officers took Okot into custody, other officers found one of the victims lying on the sidewalk at Market and Fore streets with what Hondo described as “multiple gunshot wounds.” That man told police he was the victim of a drive-by shooting but was unable to describe the shooter.

Police found three shell casings near the intersection of Fore and Market streets.

Officers tried to interview the second victim at Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he checked himself in for treatment for a gunshot graze wound on his side, but he refused to cooperate. A woman who was with him told police that he was initially stabbed by a man who had stepped out of a dark-colored vehicle. The woman, who is not identified in court records, said she heard the shots and then saw the first victim on the ground, according to the affidavit.

Theriault’s report identifies the shooting victims as 22-year-old Mekonnen Berhe and 21-year-old Eric Malonda, but it does not specify who was shot multiple times and who was grazed. A Portland police spokesman, Lt. James Sweatt, declined on Thursday to clarify those details. Police had previously described both men’s injuries as not life-threatening.

On Wednesday, police executed a warrant to search the Hyundai and found a Springfield Armory 9mm handgun on the passenger side floor, shell casings on the driver’s side floor and three cellphones and an insurance bill with Okot’s name under the seat, the affidavit states.

In total, police seized 10 spent shell casings.

Okot has so far been charged federal with being a felon in possession of a handgun, punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison. State court records that were part of his case file in the 2010 murder indicate Okot could face further charges, including elevated aggravated assault, a Class A felony punishable by up to 30 years in state prison.

Okot pleaded guilty to a charge of felony murder on July 7, 2011, for being the getaway driver in the shooting death of 24-year-old Serge Mulongo. He was sentenced to three years of a 10-year sentence with 16 months credit for time served before his plea. The judge suspended the remainder of the sentence during a four-year probation term that runs through June 2017.

On Feb. 10, 2010, Mulongo was shot six times at close range as he was leaving his apartment building at the corner of Park Avenue and Weymouth Street. Okot was also accused of providing the latex gloves used by the alleged gunman, Daudoit Butsitsi, 29, who is serving a 38-year sentence at the Maine State Prison.

A probation officer, Michael Hulit, filed a motion after Okot’s arrest on Monday to have his probation revoked. Okot is now due to appear in Cumberland County Court on Friday morning on that motion.

If he is found in violation of probation, he could be sentenced to serve the remainder of his 10-year prison sentence in the murder case.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @scottddolan

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