State police and the Maine Attorney General’s Office released no new information Tuesday about the investigation into the death of a 34-year-old Windham woman who was shot by her husband Thursday.

Alicia Gaston was shot once in the abdomen by her husband, Noah Gaston, 33, police said. Their three children were in the home on Brookhaven Drive at the time.

Police have not brought charges but they also have not characterized the shooting as an accident or as anything else that might explain the death. Police have not released Noah Gaston’s account of the incident.

They say the case remains under investigation.

That has left former neighbors puzzled and suspicious. On Tuesday, they remembered Alicia Gaston as a devoted mother.

“That woman was 110 percent invested in her children and she was a wonderful mother,” said Janet Hawkes, who lives at Cressey’s Apartments in Gorham, where the Gastons lived for six years prior to this summer. Hawkes said Alicia Gaston would home-school her three children – ages 9, 8 and 2 – and then they would flow outside to play in the yard. They would perform skits for their dolls and in the winter would go sledding for hours at a time.

When the youngest, a boy, was old enough to play outside with his sisters, they would put him in a wagon and pull him around the outside of the house, Hawkes said.

“My heart just bleeds for those kids,” she said.

When Alicia Gaston put on birthday parties for her children – which were attended by many children of varying ages – she would set up a number of interactive activities for children to cycle through, recalled Hawkes, who said as a former educator she was impressed.

The family was very active in its church and had a large circle of friends from the congregation, she said.

Griffith Matthews, who also lives at the complex, said he admired Alicia Gaston for her calm approach to child-rearing.

“I was inspired by Alicia in all that she did,” he said. “She could be out there with those kids and she would never raise her voice.”

Hawkes had a different impression of Noah Gaston.

“I never saw the father interacting with the kids. If he was out there (in the yard), he was talking on the cellphone or … standing on his head or walking on his hands,” she said.

Michael Cressey, who manages the Gorham apartment complex where the Gastons had lived, also said Noah Gaston was not a friendly person.

“She was a lot more sociable and likable,” he said.

Cressey knew Noah Gaston to fish and to hunt. He did not know the circumstances behind the shooting but was surprised a gun would discharge inside the house.

“I don’t know what kind of person would have a loaded gun in the house with three little kids,” he said.

Hawkes and Cressey said they never knew the couple to fight. There also is no record of any domestic violence, according to Cumberland County court files.

A request to the Gorham Police Department for any calls for service for the Gastons’ former home on Flaggy Meadow Road had not been responded to by end of the business day Tuesday.

Cressey said Alicia Gaston would call him on the telephone every two or three months with some maintenance issue on the old house they were renting from him – a stopped-up sink or leaky roof.

“She would say ‘Hello, this is Alicia Gaston,’ even though I could recognize her voice,” Cressey said. At the time, he was mildly annoyed. “Now, I kind of wish she would call again.”

 


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