SACO – A Cambodian immigrant who as a teen spent 18 months in jail on a murder charge that later was dropped, died in a shootout with another man, who fled the scene and was killed by police after a high-speed chase, investigators said Sunday.
The shootings unfolded after an argument over drug money at a dance at the Howard Sports Center spilled into the parking lot, where more than a dozen shots were fired late Saturday, said Stephen McCausland of the Maine Public Safety Department.
Seiha Srey, 25, of Cape Elizabeth fired several times before being killed; the other gunman, Andy Luong, 22, of Biddeford, was shot by Gorham police after his car was disabled by a spike mat less than 20 miles away, McCausland said.
About 40 bystanders escaped injury during the initial shootout shortly after 11 p.m., but several parked cars were hit by gunfire, McCausland said.
“They thought they were going to witness a fistfight. When the guns came out, most people ducked for cover or ran from the scene,” the spokesman said.
Srey, who was armed with a .45-caliber handgun, was shot in the head by Luong, who was armed with an assault rifle that someone handed to him, McCausland said. Srey was fleeing toward the woods when he was cut down at the edge of the parking lot, he said.
Details of the death of Luong, who exchanged gunfire with Gorham police, were not released. The state Attorney General’s Office is investigating the case, which is required when an officer uses deadly force.
A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office did not immediately return a message seeking comment Sunday.
Srey, who came to the U.S. at age 7, was known to police after several highly publicized incidents.
At age 15, he was charged in the 1998 stabbing death of Robert Joyal, 18, outside a Denny’s restaurant in Portland.
Srey’s attorneys argued that other witnesses said someone else was the killer and a judge released him after 18 months. Prosecutors eventually withdrew the charges even though police said he remained the prime suspect.
Srey was soon back in trouble with the law. He pleaded guilty to unrelated burglary and assault charges in a case in which he and some others broke into an apartment seeking revenge after a friend allegedly was beaten.