LEE, Maine — A former convict beat a man and stole guns and a pickup truck before shooting five people, two of them fatally, during a rampage across several northern Maine towns, state police said Friday.
Anthony Lord, who faces murder charges, was arrested at a family member's home in Houlton, and a woman who was being held with him was safe, State Police Lt. Sean Hashey said.
Investigators were searching for a motive for the shootings that left two men dead and two men and a woman injured, he said. "We know a lot, but there's a lot of questions to be answered still," Hashey told reporters.
Dozens of law enforcement officers had been searching for Lord after an outburst of violence that started with a fire Thursday night at a barn in the town of Benedicta and then escalated when a man was robbed of his guns early Friday in the township of Silver Ridge.
Before his arrest, Lord shot people in Benedicta and Lee, police said. Police didn't immediately identify the victims.
The manhunt focused on the town of Lee, where police set up roadblocks. A command post was set up at Lee Academy, a secondary school 60 miles northeast of Bangor.
Lord, 35, has a criminal record that includes convictions for domestic assault, criminal threatening and assault, police said. He was placed on the state's sex-offender registry after being convicted of unlawful sexual contact with someone under the age of 14.
State police also are investigating the death of his 6-month-old son, who was discovered unresponsive by his mother in Millinocket in May.
Lord was being questioned late Friday afternoon and was expected to spend the weekend in the Aroostook County Jail before his initial court appearance, anticipated early next week.
Police said the first shootings happened at the home of Lord's brother, where windows and the doors were shot out but no one was injured.
From there, he returned to the site of the barn fire and the home where Brittany Irish lived to get her, and to shoot a man and woman who were there with her, Hashey said. Another man was shot through the window of his truck in the home's driveway, and two more men were shot at a woodlot in Lee where a logging truck was stolen.
Police said Lord and Irish knew each other but would not say how; they declined to say whether she went willingly with him or whether she was a hostage.
Residents said the region is normally quiet and peaceful.
"It's mind-blowing. To see a SWAT team in Lee or Lincoln is ridiculous," said Rick Jipson, a mechanic who lives nearby in the town of Lowell.
But they didn't appear to be panicked by the police presence.
"We're pretty well armed around here," said James Knealand, who works at Lincoln Pulp & Paper and lives near a police checkpoint in Lee.
Associated Press writer David Sharp in Portland, Maine, contributed to this report.