AUBURN - Police surrounded a cluster of buildings in the New Auburn neighborhood Thursday after shots were fired near the intersection of Broad and Third streets.
No one was hurt in the home invasion but witnesses said two teenagers chased a third man out of a building, firing from an assault rifle as they ran.
Police arrested one teenager at gunpoint after he approached them on Third Street and was pointed out by a woman who shouted from a window to identify him as one of the shooters.
A second teen was arrested 30 minutes later after police surrounded an apartment house on South Main Street.
Yusuf Mohamoud, 18, of Lewiston, was arrested on charges of burglary and reckless conduct with a firearm.
A 17-year-old from Auburn was arrested on the same charges, plus hindering apprehension. Police said more charges are likely against the teens and that a third possible male suspect was being sought.
The man who rents the apartment where the shots were fired, Lawrence Coy, was charged with aggravated cultivation of marijuana.
For more than an hour, the tense scene forced the closure of a section of Third Street while neighbors gathered to watch the action. Some said they had heard gunshots and witnessed the flurry of activity that followed.
"I heard at least two shots, but at that point I didn't know if it was a real gun," said Linda Parker, who lives in the area. "Some kid ran out and said, 'He's got a shotgun!'"
Nearby, 27-year-old Tara Nguyen heard the commotion from the cluster of apartments near Broad and Third. It began with a series of loud pops.
"I heard at least four shots," Nguyen said. "To me, it sounded like a paintball gun."
Officer James Phillips happened to be passing by on routine patrol, and he prevented the suspects from fleeing in a vehicle moments after the shots were fired, according to deputy police Chief Jason Moen.
"He was able to block their car in," Moen said. "The suspects then took off on foot."
Police recovered a rifle at the scene, he said.
Witnesses said the two teens spun around and fled into nearby apartment houses when police began to arrive.
At about 6:30 p.m., one teen appeared from between buildings and approached police who stood on a corner watching the building. Several times, officers instructed the teen to show his hands and stop. He continued walking toward them.
"That's him!" a woman screamed from a nearby building.
Moments later, police wrestled the 16-year-old to the ground and handcuffed him.
Twenty minutes later, police went into a building on South Main Street and shouted for a suspect to come out with his hands up. Mohamoud surrendered without a struggle.
After the suspects were arrested, police searched the home of the intended victim and found evidence of a marijuana-growing operation in the apartment building's basement, Moen said.
The charge against Coy was aggravated because the growing operation was within 1,000 feet of Raymond Park, designated by the city as a drug-free safe zone.
The shooting incident began in an area behind Marcel's Barber Shop and across the street from Roy's Foodland. Auburn police quickly secured the area and called for a tracking dog to assist them in a search for suspects.
Lewiston police scrambled to their side of South Bridge on the chance that suspects had fled in that direction.
According to Moen, the suspects weren't able to get out of the area because of the fast response of officers.
"They did a really good job with securing the scene," Moen said.
Muhamoud remained at the Androscoggin County Jail Thursday night. Bail was set at $15,000 cash.
The 17-year-old was being held at the Long Creek Juvenile Youth Development Center in South Portland.