Tyler Fusco with Sam Luebbert at Maine Medical Center on Friday. Luebbert came to Fusco’s aid after he was shot on the causeway in Naples on July 4. Photo courtesy of Shauna Palanza

The mother of a 16-year-old boy who was shot during the Fourth of July celebration in Naples said her son is recovering from three gunshot wounds after an altercation with a person he had never met before.

Tyler Fusco, a Westbrook High School junior, was expected to be released from the hospital as early as Friday, said his mother, Shauna Palanza.

Alexzander Goodwin, 18, of Bridgton, is accused of shooting Fusco and was arrested Thursday in Portland after a two-day manhunt. He has been charged with reckless conduct and elevated aggravated assault, a Class A crime that carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said.

Palanza believes Goodwin should have been charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting her son on the Naples Causeway on Tuesday. Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce said Friday that the investigation is continuing and that the charges against Goodwin could be changed or upgraded depending on what facts and evidence are uncovered.

Shauna Palanza stands outside of Maine Medical Center on Friday, where her son was recovering after being shot in Naples on July 4. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

“He shot at my son five times and hit him three times, as he was fleeing. How can that not be attempted murder?” Palanza said during an interview Friday. “Aggravated assault sounds like there was no gun involved. I asked police why it wasn’t attempted murder and they said the charge was based on what they thought they could prove.”

Joyce said Friday that the charges filed against Goodwin so far were based on information officers had been able to collect quickly enough to obtain an arrest warrant. He said officers will probably interview at least 30 to 40 people during the investigation, and that may lead to different charges. Also, a grand jury could decide on more serious charges.


“The charges are based on what we had at the time, so we could get a warrant and get him off the street,” Joyce said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

Palanza said that her son does not know Goodwin or have any connection to him. She said her son was in Naples on July Fourth to watch the fireworks with his grandparents, who live in the Lakes Region town. She said he texted her a photo of himself on his grandparents’ boat shortly before 7 p.m. and then walked down the causeway, which separates Brandy Pond from Long Lake, to see a friend near Rick’s Cafe.

When Fusco found his friend, he was told that a person there had just hit his friend and two girls in the face, Palanza said. Fusco then called that person a name, prompting him to swing at Fusco, and Fusco to swing back. Fusco then pinned the person to the ground, Palanza said. Fusco then let him up and started walking away. It was then that the person fired a gun at him, Palanza said.

Fusco ran to flee the bullets and dove behind a car and was helped by others in the crowd.

Sam Luebbert, 26, of Auburn, ran to Fusco then carried him back to the sidewalk in front of the cafe, and began applying pressure to the wound at his shoulder. Palanza said an off-duty nurse, Carissa Clarke, also helped administer first aid, and Dylan Deconzo of Auburn propped her son’s head up with a backpack and gave him water while waiting for first responders to arrive. Some of the people who helped Fusco after he was shot have come to see him in the hospital, Palanza said.

Palanza said Friday morning that her son did not want to be interviewed about the shooting.


She said her son, who plays football and baseball at Westbrook High, was grazed in the right knee and the groin area. A third bullet entered his back under his right armpit and exited the front of his shoulder. She said he’s felt nauseous because of the pain medication and is having a hard time keeping food down. He won’t have much use of his right arm for a while and will likely need physical therapy, she said.

Palanza first voiced her concerns over the charges against Goodwin Thursday night on Facebook, after she heard Joyce talking about the shooting on TV. She took issue with Joyce’s description of the shooting as an “isolated” event and his statement that Goodwin did not come to the Naples fireworks celebration looking to shoot anyone. More than 1,000 people were in the crowd on the Naples Causeway when the incident occurred. Luebbert said he saw the shooter pull a gun from a backpack.

Joyce said his comment about the incident being isolated was based on early information about Fusco and Goodwin having contact before the shooting, and Goodwin aiming at him. He said information officers gathered so far also indicated that Goodwin had not planned the shooting.

In her Facebook post, Palanza said she was grateful to police for catching Goodwin but is “no way near okay with the charge of aggravated assault.”

“I hope they can live with the next person this kid hurts or kills because it will be on them & the district attorney for not giving a more serious charge to fit the crime,” Palanza posted.

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