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Man arrested after firing gun at Maine college during Saturday party

The Waterville Police Department said three non-Colby College students got into a fight on March 11 on campus, and one of them fired a gun. He has been arrested.

WATERVILLE, Maine — A man from Waterville has been arrested after police said he fired a gun during a fight on Colby College's campus overnight on Saturday, March 11. 

According to the Waterville Police Department's interim chief of police William Bonney, dispatch received a call about shots fired at the Alfond Apartments on campus around 1:30 a.m. Officers from Waterville and Winslow responded and found a non-Colby College students on the ground with head injuries.

Bonney said that person has been identified as Andrew Gifford, 24, of Waterville. Bonney said he was at Alfond Apartments for a party when he got into a fight with two other men, who were also non-Colby College students from Waterville. According to Bonney, one of those men assaulted Gifford in a crowded hallway. Gifford then fired two rounds from a handgun that he had concealed on his body.

Bonney said both rounds hit the walls of the hallway and didn't hurt anyone.

Gifford was taken to Maine General Hospital to be treated for his head injuries. He was then arrested and charged with a Class C felony for Reckless Conduct with a Dangerous Weapon. His bail has been set at $10,000 cash.

In an emailed statement, Bonney said, "It is very fortunate that no innocent bystanders were hurt by this reckless behavior," later adding, "The officers had no idea what they were going into when they entered the building, fortunately no one was seriously hurt and the suspect was taken into custody without incident, but the officers were most certainly prepared for the worst on arrival."

This shooting happened during a popular event on campus called Doghead – essentially, a night-long, early celebration of St. Patrick's Day where students stay up all night and drink. Sometimes, people from outside of campus come to celebrate, too.  

Colby College's director of media relations said staff members will be on campus providing support for students, and counseling services will be available Saturday morning for individual and group support. Students were asked to shelter in place overnight as an added precaution, but Sopko said operations should go back to normal in the morning. 

Gifford is being held at the Kennebec County Jail. His court date is set for June 12 at 8:30 a.m.

Bonney said this case is still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Duane Cloutier at the Waterville Police Department at (207) 680-4700.

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