HALLOWELL — The man who took his own life after an hourslong standoff Tuesday afternoon had put incendiary devices and accelerants inside his apartment and was threatening to use them, police said.

Christopher Giles, the interim chief of the Hallowell Police Department, said Wednesday that in addition to evacuating the apartment building at 61 Water St., he had shut down that section of Water Street and requested the Hallowell Fire Department and an ambulance stand by.

Giles said no other building was evacuated during the 4 1/2-hour standoff.

“Once word started spreading around town, there were a couple of local businesses that temporarily closed their doors until they knew for sure whether there was a safety risk,” Giles said.

The standoff began after Hallowell police were called to the Water Street apartment house after 12:30 p.m. Tuesday for a well-being check. The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office and the Maine State Police Tactical Team were also at the scene.

Giles declined Wednesday to identify the man who had died, because the man’s next of kin had yet to be notified. Giles confirmed the man was 49 years old.


Angela Brown, who lives at 61 Water St., was at work Tuesday when the confrontation between her neighbor and the police took place.

“I think it was a cry for help,” Brown said.

The man had three or four friends at the building, which she described as an apartment house with about 10 efficiency units, and a girlfriend, Brown said.

“My interactions with him were all good,” Brown said. “When he wasn’t mad, he was genuinely nice.”

Brown said the man was considerate and would notice details about his neighbors, including if someone had a different hairstyle.

“He had a little social area out here in the side yard, and he’d have people in the building over for barbecues and stuff like that,” she said. “He was nice guy, but like everybody, he had a temper. I don’t know what precipitated the snap. I was really surprised.”

Brown said the man was a military veteran who was lonely and vulnerable. He had bought a scooter to be able to get to the Togus VA Medical Center on the other side of the Kennebec River.

“He was actively in the system,” Brown said, “but just for some reason, it failed him.”

During the standoff, Water Street was closed for four hours between Winthrop Street and Hinkley Road, at the train trestle, and traffic was rerouted onto North and Second streets.

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