SKOWHEGAN — A local man was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to a Bangor hospital Sunday afternoon with a pellet-gun shot wound to the head, police said.

Skowhegan Police Chief David Bucknam said the pellet may have passed through the skull into the victim’s brain.

Police officers responded to a medical assistance 911 call at 44 Joyce St. in Skowhegan just after noontime Sunday, Bucknam said. He said witnesses told police that 19-year-old Charles Quimby was shot in the head with a pellet gun by 20-year-old William McCarty.

Quimby was taken to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan but was soon transferred by helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he was listed in critical condition.

Bucknam said later Monday afternoon that Quimby’s condition was still listed as critical.

He said the investigation continues to include whether the shooting was intentional or accidental.

“It has not been determined,” the chief said Monday afternoon. “We are investigating to rule out any other issues.”

Detective Sgt. Don Avery and Sgt. Brian Gardiner responded to the scene with the assistance of the State Police Major Crimes Unit.

Skowhegan’s Criminal Investigation Division is conducting an investigation into the incident, Bucknam said. A search warrant was executed at the home to collect the pellet rifle and other items of interest, he said.

Bucknam said no one has been charged in the incident, as the investigation continues. He said his department is working with state police and that doctors will be conferring with Quimby’s family members.

No one was at the home during repeat visits Monday.

The pellet-gun shooting occurred at the lower corner of Joyce Street, a dead-end road that meets the Debe Park River Trail along the south side of the Kennebec River, where extensive graffiti vandalism was also reported over the weekend. Picnic tables, signs, equipment and large rocks that dot the trail all were hit with blue paint markings. It was unclear Monday if the vandalism is connected in any way to the shooting.

“It’s too early to say,” Bucknam said.

Lee Couturier, who with his wife were the only neighbors found on Joyce Street Monday morning, said they help maintain the trail for the town and the Recreation Department. He said some of the graffiti has been cleaned up.

He said he saw all the police officers down at the end of his street Sunday afternoon, but didn’t know anything about the pellet-gun shooting.

He said the graffiti vandalism is upsetting.

“Every sign, all the rocks, all the exercise equipment — my garbage can that I built — they spray-painted the cover of it,” Couturier said. “There was a word — DJ — I guess. We are there quite a bit to stop things like this from happening, but you can’t be there all the time. I just planted a nice tree there the other day. You do one good thing, and something like that happens.”

Farther south of the trail, on French Street, more graffiti was discovered Sunday morning, this time with obscene words spelled out on the side of a building. Police were investigating that, too, on Monday.

Lee Lemieux, who lives right across the street from the obscene graffiti, said he called police because of the words and was concerned with passers-by commenting on it.

“We figured we’d call them just because we heard people were making comments as they were driving by,” he said. “I thought about coming out here and spray painting it, but I didn’t want to get in trouble for tagging myself.”

The owner of the building, Connie Damboise, of Fairfield, said she uses the building for storage for her construction company, CJ Damboise Building and Remodeling.

She said the words aren’t very nice.

“Usually when they touch this, they start doing it in town and they come this way,” she said of the graffiti. “I’m going to cover that up today — that’s why I’m here.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow

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