Bangor, Maine, Fourth takes a dark turn: First an armed standoff, then a death in accident at city parade

A man died in an accident during a Fourth of July parade in Bangor, Maine.
A man died in an accident during a Fourth of July parade in Bangor, Maine. –Gabor Degre/BDN

A joyful Fourth of July celebration in Bangor, Maine, turned tragic when a man fired dozens of shots at police during a four-hour standoff, forcing the rerouting of the town’s parade, and a man driving a tractor in the parade was later killed in a freak accident.

The suspect in the standoff, Perrin Oliver, 43 of Bangor, described as despondent by police, was arrested about 12:20 p.m. at his home on Park Street near where the parade usually ends.

Oliver was transported to the Penobscot County Jail and charged with criminal threatening and aggravated reckless conduct with a firearm, Bangor Police Sergeant Paul Edwards said in a statement.


No injuries were reported during the incident, which began about 8:30 a.m., although the shooter allegedly fired close to 40 rounds of ammunition, said Bangor Police Sergeant Catherine Rumfey.

The Bangor police special response team completely shut down the area and asked residents to either leave or stay indoors, said Edwards.

Oliver allegedly fired at officers out his apartment window, said Edwards. The police department’s robot and response team officers fired tear gas into the suspect’s apartment before arresting Oliver, said Edwards. The police seized a handgun as evidence and the department is investigating, said Edwards.

At 12:40 p.m., shortly after Oliver’s arrest, the fatal accident happened during the parade at Main and Water streets. An officer on the scene reported that a man operating a green tractor turned right onto Water Street and was struck from behind by a vintage Bangor Hose 5 Fire Museum fire truck.

The accident is under investigation by Bangor police and the medical examiner’s office, with accident reconstruction assistance from Maine State Police, police said in a statement.

Police didn’t say in the statement whether the intersection where the accident occurred was on the original parade route or part of the new route. A message left for Edwards wasn’t immediately returned.

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