AUGUSTA — A Waterville man accused of firing a handgun in a crowded hallway during a party at Colby College has pleaded not guilty to charges of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.

Andrew Gifford, 24, was arrested in March after he allegedly pulled out a Ruger 9 mm handgun while at a party at Alfond Apartments on the Colby College campus and fired two shots, neither of which struck anyone.

Gifford entered his plea Tuesday at the Capital Judicial Center. The two felony-level charges are punishable by up to five years in prison.

Gifford told police the incident began when he was hit in the head with a bottle by a man with whom he had fought years earlier, according to an affidavit filed by Waterville police Detective Duane Cloutier. The affidavit also alleges Gifford then fired two shots at the man, whom he told police had dated his foster sister.

Both shots struck the walls of the hallway, which police said was filled with people attending a large party.

Cloutier wrote in the affidavit that Gifford had told him the ex-boyfriend was reportedly “aggressive” with Gifford’s foster sister, and he and Gifford had fought over it at that time.


Gifford and the others involved in the altercation were not Colby students, police said.

At the party, Gifford was helping to check IDs at the door when he turned around and saw the ex-boyfriend, who then hit him with a bottle, he told police.

“Andrew told me that the whole reason he carries (a handgun) is for situations like that,” Cloutier wrote in the affidavit.

Police received a 911 call at about 1:30 a.m. March 11, with someone at the campus apartments reporting shots were heard at the building and blood was on the floor, according to the affidavit. Officers from Waterville and Winslow responded. The officers found Gifford on the ground floor of the building with a head wound.

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