PALMYRA — An 18-year-old man was arrested after posing outside Walmart with a rifle and ammunition in a social media post that threatened “Lewiston part two,” authorities said Tuesday.

Michael Bowden

Michael Bowden, of Etna, posed in a Snapchat photo taken Sunday with a .308-caliber Savage bolt-action rifle and ammunition in his lap, Somerset County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Mike Mitchell said. After sending the photo to an employee of the Walmart store in Palmyra, Bowden threatened in a text to commit “Lewiston part two,” in reference to last week’s mass shootings at two Lewiston businesses that left 18 dead and others wounded.

“He took a picture of himself in a vehicle in the Walmart parking lot, and in that picture you can see a gun — a hunting rifle,” Mitchell said. “You can also see a bullet in his lap.”

“They were communicating back and forth through Snapchat messaging, and (the employee) basically said, ‘What is this?’ ” Mitchell explained.

The sheriff’s office declined to provide a copy of the photo, saying it is being kept as evidence. The rifle Bowden posed with was confiscated by authorities.

Mitchell could not say whether Bowden owned the weapon or if it was purchased legally. Hunting rifles can be purchased by anyone 18 years or older in Maine.


Bowden worked at the Palmyra Walmart but his employment was terminated in July, authorities said. A representative of the store declined a request for comment.

Bowden had been seen in the Walmart parking lot “on a nightly basis,” according to authorities, including the night before he made the threat.

Mitchell said an investigation is ongoing.

“We take this stuff very serious. You have to nowadays,” he said.

The threatening post occurred about the same time authorities say an Oklahoma man posted alarming messages to the School Administrative District 49 Facebook page. Those messages led SAD 49 to close its schools Monday. The man, who previously lived in Fairfield and Waterville, was arrested Monday.

Bowden was arrested without incident Sunday and charged with aggravated reckless conduct and domestic violence terrorizing, but was released from custody Tuesday after posting $10,000 cash bond.

He has an initial court appearance scheduled for Jan. 3.

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