WATERVILLE — A 24-year-old city man was charged with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon after police responded to a report of gunshots being fired early Saturday morning at Colby College campus apartments.

Andrew Gifford was arrested by authorities in connection with the incident, according to the Waterville Police Department arrest log.

In a statement, the college said the altercation involved “non-Colby students at the Alfond Apartments on campus” and that one of the people involved “discharged a firearm and has been detained by police.”

“To our knowledge, no Colby students were injured,” the college statement said. “The other individuals involved in the altercation left the area.”

Waterville interim police Chief William Bonney later issued a news release that said Waterville and Winslow officers responded to the apartments after receiving a call about 1:30 a.m. of shots that were fired. The officers found Gifford on the ground floor of the building with a head wound.

Gifford had gotten into an altercation with two other men and one of them assaulted Gifford in a crowded hallway during a party, Bonney said. Gifford responded by pulling out a Ruger 9mm handgun and firing two shots. Both rounds struck the walls of the hallway and no one was hurt by the shots, he said.


The two other men also were not students at Colby and Bonney said they both are from Waterville. But he did not indicate if they were in custody and interviewed as part of the investigation.

Gifford was taken to a hospital for medical treatment before he was transported to the Kennebec County Jail. His bail was set at $10,000 cash, Bonney said. He has a court date scheduled for June.

“It is very fortunate that no innocent bystanders were hurt by this reckless behavior,” Bonney said in the release. “I feel terrible for the students and parents who had to go through the trauma of this event, worrying that one of their loved ones may be hurt or worse.”

“Staff have been on campus providing support for students, and counseling services will be available (Saturday) morning for individual and group support,” the statement said.

The college asked the campus community to stay in place during the night out of caution, saying normal operations were expected by Saturday morning.

Abby Zwall, a senior at Colby, was inside the senior apartments in the early hours Saturday morning when the altercation occurred.


“I was in the hallway, and all of a sudden people start running around, people were saying everyone should get in rooms and lock the doors,” Zwall said later Saturday morning.

Colby’s Department of Security began running into the apartments, Zwall said, telling students to evacuate the building. Zwall and some friends ran down the road to another campus building and sheltered in place there, sleeping on the floor.

Zwall said that students had no clue what was going on, and had to rely on social media and group chats for instructions about what to do.

“It was freaky because there were a bunch of rumors,” Zwall said. “First I heard there was a gun, then that someone got shot three times, and then I heard it was just a bottle smashed.”

Friday night, Zwall said, was one of the “biggest parties of the year” — known as “Doghead.” It’s an annual tradition at Colby that occurs on the nearest Friday night to St. Patrick’s Day. Zwall said the event draws many people who don’t go to Colby, as well as much of campus.

“The whole school stays up until sunrise,” Zwall said. “And all the parties are hosted in the senior apartments.”

Waterville Sentinel Staff Writer Zara Norman contributed to this report.

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