April 05, 2020

Police seek suspect in clerk’s wounding> Shooting seen as botched kidnap attempt

PORTLAND — Investigators Tuesday sought a gunman who shot a convenience store clerk three times in what was characterized as a kidnap attempt that went awry.

Police Chief Michael Chitwood said the masked assailant fired the last shot in the back of Cynthia Gale as she lay on the ground Monday night outside the Warren Avenue Getty Mart.

“I describe this guy as an animal,” Chitwood said.

Gale, 34, was locking the store and police initially suspected the attack was a robbery attempt. But the gunman refused Gale’s offer of money and ordered her into his pickup truck, the chief said.

“It looks like his whole goal was to get her in the truck,” Chitwood said.

As Gale struggled with the assailant, she suffered gunshot wounds to her right hand and right shoulder. She then feigned death by laying on the ground, and the gunman shot her once more in the back of her right shoulder before fleeing.

Gale was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Maine Medical Center.

After the attacker left, Gale managed to open the store and call 911.

Police have no suspects, but were looking for a late-model medium green pickup truck with a canvas cover over the bed. The attacker was described as slightly under 6-feet tall, with a stocky build. At the time of the shooting, he was wearing a dark, waist-length jacket.

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