Portland police have charged a teenager with murder in the shooting death of a 45-year-old man on a street corner in Bayside last month.

Tyrese Collins

Assistant Chief Vern Malloch said Tyrese Collins, 18, of Portland shot Jack Wilson during an argument near the Oxford Street Shelter on June 26. Police are still trying to determine a motive for the shooting.

Wilson, who had been staying at the shelter on and off, died from his injuries around 7 p.m. July 3 at Maine Medical Center. His was the second homicide in Portland this year.

Collins was already in custody at the Cumberland County Jail when he was arrested Friday morning and charged with Wilson’s murder.

He was charged with aggravated assault earlier this year for his role in a November 2017 stabbing on Main Street in Westbrook that left a 17-year-old boy with wounds to an elbow and his chest. Collins was free on $500 cash bail at the time Wilson was shot.

Collins is expected to make his first court appearance on the murder charge Monday.

Malloch called Wilson’s death a tragic, senseless killing.

“We feel assured we have apprehended a dangerous person,” he said.

SHOT IN STOMACH

At the time of the shooting, a Portland police officer was in the area of the Oxford Street Shelter – Portland’s primary emergency shelter for homeless adults – when he saw what police described only as an altercation and heard gunfire. The officer ran to the area and administered first aid to Wilson, who had one gunshot wound to the stomach, until he was taken to Maine Medical Center in critical condition.

Wilson had spent 58 nights at the Oxford Street Shelter since April 10, when he was first registered, according to city records. The shelter’s staff did not personally know Wilson well, but he was engaged with staff members working with him to get him back on his feet and did not get into any trouble while at the shelter, said director Rob Parritt. Wilson also was working, according to city officials and others at the shelter, although it was not clear Friday where he was employed.

Several clients at the Oxford Street Shelter said they knew Wilson, but not very well. He wasn’t around much because of his job and when he was around he didn’t open up about his family or personal situation, they said.

“He worked hard,” said Ray, a 44-year-old who would not provide his last name. “I don’t know what brought him here, but he worked every day. He worked that day, too.”

Jessica Ramsdell, 30, said she is friends with Wilson’s girlfriend. She said it appeared the two had a good relationship, which was about five months long. Both loved hip-hop and R&B music, she said, and each night, before going to bed in different parts of the shelter, they would kiss and say they loved each other. And the girlfriend was by Wilson’s side every day after he was shot, Ramsdell said.

“He was really nice,” Ramsdell said. “He would never get into conflicts and never started drama.”

Dustin Cole, 40, said Wilson could be opinionated at times, but he mostly kept to himself and wasn’t known to cause trouble or be confrontational.

“I heard the gunshot,” Cole said. “It’s hard being out here.”

Wilson’s family could not be located Friday and people who knew him from the shelter believed Wilson was originally from another state.

Police have not said whether Collins and Wilson knew each other before their encounter June 26 outside the shelter and said the motive for the slaying remains under investigation.

OUT ON BAIL

Collins’ juvenile record is not publicly available, but he spent time at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland. In 2017, Collins was a senior captain of the basketball team for A.R. Gould, the educational component within Long Creek, and was featured in a Portland Press Herald article about the team’s appearance in a regional championship game.

Tyrese Collins, a senior captain of the basketball team for A.R. Gould, the educational component within Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland, plays in a game Feb. 25, 2017. He is now charged with murder.

Collins was arrested in February in connection with the stabbing in Westbrook last November, and prosecutors asked at the time that his bail be set at $5,000 cash. He was released in March on $250 cash bail with conditions laid out in a pretrial contract, Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Sahrbeck said.

However, Collins was not following his pretrial contract, Sahrbeck said, and he was placed back in custody for three weeks in May. He pleaded guilty to violating conditions of release on May 16 and was sentenced to seven days in jail. Collins’ bail was then set at $1,000 cash and it was reduced to $500 by a judge, Sahrbeck said. He was living on Pembroke Street when Wilson was shot, according to court records.

Three days after the shooting, Collins’ bail was revoked and he has been in custody since June 29, Sahrbeck said. Portland police said immediately after the shooting that they had identified everyone involved in the incident, but did not publicly name Collins until Friday.

Collins is scheduled to be tried in August on the assault charge related to the stabbing.

The shooting is one of several violent incidents in the Bayside neighborhood that have shaken local residents already concerned about fighting, public drug use and other illegal behavior.

In addition to the shooting involving Wilson, two people were injured during stabbings in Bayside in June. And on Sunday, an 18-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man were wounded by gunshots during an incident near Cumberland Avenue and Mayo Street in East Bayside. Police said Friday that the shooting was an accident caused by careless handling of a gun.

Malloch on Friday said the July 1 double shooting was an accident and caused by the reckless handling of a weapon inside a Jeep Renegade carrying three people. The car was traveling on Cumberland Avenue near Mayo Street when a single bullet fired from a gun being handled by a passenger passed through the man’s hand and hit a woman in the leg, he said.

‘FRINGE ELEMENT’

No charges have been filed and the people who were wounded are recovering from their injuries, Malloch said. The driver was not injured.

Portland police have stepped up patrols in the neighborhood in response to the rash of violent activity.

Malloch said police officers maintain a presence in the neighborhood. He said criminal activity in the area involves a “fringe element,” not the majority of people who live in the neighborhood or who use the shelter and other social service agencies.

“Most people staying at the homeless shelter are not engaged in criminal conduct,” he said. “If anything, they become victims because they lack resources.”

City officials have announced plans to build a new emergency shelter on city-owned property on Brighton Avenue that would house more than 200 residents and cost about $10 million. Residents of the Nason’s Corner neighborhood told city officials Thursday night about concerns about relocating the homeless shelter.

Staff Writer Randy Billings contributed to this report.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: grahamgillian

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