Maine authorities have reported a disturbing incident where a man allegedly shot and killed a couple inside their car while their two young children were present in the back seat. The incident occurred on June 19 in Westbrook, prompting a swift response from law enforcement.
According to Maine State Police, a witness called emergency services around 8:30 a.m. after observing a man firing shots at a woman in a parking lot. Upon arriving at the scene, police discovered the lifeless bodies of 37-year-old Brittney Cockrell and 41-year-old Michael Hayter inside the vehicle. Thankfully, their 11-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter, who witnessed the shooting, escaped physical harm.
The suspect, identified as 24-year-old Marcel LaGrange Jr., fled the scene and allegedly assaulted a 75-year-old bystander named Fred Roukey during his attempt to evade capture. Roukey sustained minor injuries and was taken to the hospital.
Brave bystanders managed to tackle LaGrange and disarm him until law enforcement arrived. LaGrange was subsequently apprehended and taken into custody, facing charges of two counts of murder. Authorities have confirmed that there appears to be no prior connection between the victims and the suspect.
The Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Hayter and Cockrell died from gunshot wounds, classifying their deaths as homicides, WGME reported.
Witnesses recount the harrowing moment as Asad Khlaif, an employee at a nearby market, heard the children’s screams while observing the suspect fleeing the scene with officers in pursuit. Recognizing the distressing situation, Khlaif swiftly removed the children from the vehicle to shield them from witnessing the tragic aftermath of their parent’s deaths.
It has been revealed that LaGrange has a criminal record dating back to 2018, including charges related to terrorizing, assault, domestic violence, and other offenses.
According to testimonies, a woman had encountered LaGrange a few days prior to the shooting incident. She recounted that he had visited her residence, issuing threats and prompting her to contact the Portland Police and press charges. Recognizing his dangerous nature, she made efforts to avoid any further contact with him.