“We were just heading south on Route 15 and saw somebody run out into the road ... and the closer she got she just started waving her hands and hollering and stuff so my wife and I assumed there had been an accident,” said Wayne Plummer, who owns the Northern Pride Lodge with his wife, Barbara. “She came up to the side of the truck and started telling us somebody was trying to kill her. So we said, 'Well, get in the truck.'”
“I said, 'Well, where is this guy?' And no more did I say that I see him run out into the road,” he said. “All I could think of is: I need to get as much distance between him and us as possible.”
The Plummers were hauling an equipment trailer when they met the 29-year-old shooting victim outside of North Pointe Farm and Garden just before 7 a.m. Monday.
“She was hurting,” Plummer said. “I mean I don't know what her injury was but it looked like she was shot in the hip. I was surprised she could run at all.”
Christopher Hallowell, 24, who is charged with aggravated attempted murder and eight other crimes, was on her heels carrying a .380-caliber pistol. Hallowell lives in both Bath and Shirley.
“I tried to back up and tried to go fast because now he's running at the truck and, of course, I jackknifed the trailer,” Plummer said.
He told his wife and the injured woman to get on the floor of the truck.
“I said, 'I'm going to have to go right at him to get by him because he's going to run right to us if I don't,' Plummer said. “I just kind of stepped on it and watched what he was doing.
“I kept my eyes on the gun,” he said. “I saw he had a gun as soon as he ran out into the road. As I approached him I saw his focus go from me with the gun to the tires. He shot three times at my tires as I went by.”
One tire was disabled but the vehicle was able to continue on and meet a responding ambulance.
“It's premeditated attempted murder,” said Chris Almy, assistant district attorney for Piscataquis and Penobscot counties. “In other words, he had planned this out according to the evidence that we have.”
Almy said Hallowell hid in a horse barn armed with the .380 and a .22-caliber rifle for hours waiting for the victim. He said the woman was shot with the rifle.
Barbara Plummer said she believes the couple was placed on the road through divine intervention to save the victim, who they know from working and living in the area.
“It's nothing I want to go through again,” her husband said. “It was just being in the right place at the right time, that's all it was.”