Reward renewed for killers of Portland hospital guard

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PORTLAND — Police say somebody knows what happened last September when Mercy Hospital security guard James Angelo was shot in the back and killed while patrolling a staff parking lot.

“We certainly do know that someone in the community has intimate knowledge,” Police Chief James Craig said at a June 4 press conference announcing the re-issue of a $41,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killers.

Craig was joined at the press conference by Angelo’s brother,  Alfred Angelo. He said that he and his brother had a friendship that was indescribable and that his brother’s untimely death is “one of those things you hope never happens in your lifetime.”

Alfred Angelo also pleaded for witnesses to the killing to come forward and help police solve the crime.

“My hope is … someone is out there who has this critical information that we need to conclude this case,” he said.

James Angelo was 27 years old and working as a night security guard at the West End hospital when he was shot in the back while doing his parking lot rounds. Surveillance cameras caught the incident on film, police said. Shortly after the Sept. 7 slaying, police said they were looking for two suspects. One was described as a short black man in his early 20s and of slight build. The other suspect was described only as wearing a light-colored shirt or jacket.

A native of Sudan, Angelo moved here with his family in 1995 and had a 2-year-old daughter.

While making it clear that Angelo was not involved in any sort of drug activity, Craig said there is a problem with trafficking in crack and cocaine in the neighborhood around Mercy Hospital.

“There is a high likelihood James’ shooting was related to that,” he said.

“He’s working as a security guard and he’s caught in some gunfire,” Craig conjectured. “That’s common in a lot of these situations.”

The reward offered by Mercy Hospital, Maine Medical Center, Northeast Ambulance and an anonymous donor totals $41,000. A previous reward had expired, but Craig said June 4 that detectives have been working extremely hard to try and solve the case and believe they are getting closer to conclusion.

Anyone with information about the murder of James Angelo was asked to call the Portland Police Department at 874-8524.

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or