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Saturday, 24 October 2009

Gary Watson, 63, remained in critical but stable condition early this week after he was shot last week in his pickup truck at the entrance to the Hells Angels clubhouse on Route 23

Gary Watson, 63, remained in critical but stable condition early this week after he was shot last week in his pickup truck at the entrance to the Hells Angels clubhouse on Route 23, said Lt. Gary Wright of the Maine State Police Criminal Investigation Division. "We're still continuing with the investigation," Wright said. "We have some leads, and we're following up on those ... We have evidence collected on scene, which needs to be evaluated ... None of these types of cases are easy.So far, no one has been charged with Watson's shooting. As of Friday late afternoon, Watson remained at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where his condition was still being monitored, said Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.Wright explained that just because Watson is affiliated with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club does not mean the crime had anything to do with the group. However, all angles must be covered. "We have to look at every possibility," he said.When asked about the challenges of conducting an investigation that involves an organization that historically has been hesitant to talk with police, Wright said, "It's a quandary. When dealing with groups like that, it's difficult to get information. We're hopeful we might overcome this obstacle. We're certainly not certain we'll overcome it. Hopefully we develop enough information to be able to proceed ... In the end, you can't force people to talk to you."As of Tuesday, police had not yet spoken with Watson. "We're hoping that when he's physically able to speak with us, that he does," Wright said.
Watson is the only eyewitness to the shooting, he said, but "it's possible that he didn't see anything."
When asked if police are on alert for any indication of retaliation, he said, "We certainly have to be open to that possibility. We're going to be looking for anything related to this incident."Somerset County Sheriff Barry DeLong said there have been few incidents involving even a mention of Hells Angels in the past few years. "There's been complaints here and there but nothing major in the past three or so years," he said.A woman who lives near the clubhouse -- known locally as the Slaughterhouse -- said she heard about six gunshots around 5:30 p.m. last Thursday. When she looked out her window, she saw Watson's pickup truck reverse out of the clubhouse's driveway and into the middle of the road, perpendicular to the flow of traffic. When she went to Watson, there were bullet holes in his back window and side mirror, she said. One bullet appeared to have passed through his seat and entered his neck.An ambulance took Watson to the Canaan Fire Department where a LifeFlight helicopter took him to the hospital in Bangor. He underwent surgery there, McCausland said.Hells Angels members in Canaan declined to talk about the incident on the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 10. Scores of motorcyclists arriving at the clubhouse during the group's Fall Roundup Chowder, Stew & Chili Cook-Off Saturday drove past a reporter seeking comment outside the entrance. A Maine State Police trooper could be seen driving past the clubhouse on Route 23 during the afternoon and was later parked just off the road, less than a half mile away.

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