CAPE ELIZABETH — High School Principal Jeffrey Shedd on Thursday remembered 2006 graduate Andy Holland, 23, who was shot to death Tuesday in Farmington, as a diligent student.
“He was quiet, smart and a hard worker,” Shedd said. “It is a tragedy.”
Holland’s younger sister graduated from the high school last year, he said, and the family still lives in Cape Elizabeth.
Holland died at Franklin Memorial Hospital after he was shot at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday inside an apartment at 117 High St. in Farmington, where he was staying with a friend, Caroline Halloran, 23, of Acton, Mass.
Ryan Ouimet, 23, of Coltsneck, N.J., was arrested Tuesday on a charge of elevated aggravated assault in the death of his friend.
Maine State Police upgraded the charges to manslaughter on Wednesday after consultation with the attorney general’s office, according to a press release by Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.
The handgun used in the shooting was owned by Ouimet, McCausland said.
Ouimet was released on $10,000 bail Wednesday from the Franklin County Detention Center. He is scheduled to appear in Franklin County Superior Court on June 8.
Ouimet and Holland are 2011 graduates of the University of Maine at Farmington. Ouimet earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing and Holland graduated with a general studies degree with a concentration in education. Holland appears to have been a frequent dean’s list student, according to the university’s website.
The two young men and Halloran — a 2010 graduate of UMF — were working at the Olde Post Office Cafe in Mount Vernon. Owner Robert Wallack said Wednesday he was “deeply shocked and saddened.”
“They were three stellar employees with bright futures and our hearts go out to their families,” he said.
Neighbors Wednesday grappled with the death of Holland, saying he was a quiet person.
Monique Apartment tenants Taylor Fitzgerald and Andrew Wright were trying to understand what had happened in the third-floor apartment above each of their own apartments. Both are UMF students but didn’t know the couple who resided above them.
They said Holland was quiet and would just nod or say hello when they encountered him in the hallway or outside walking his pug. They saw Halloran rarely, but said Ouimet was often at the apartment visiting his friends.
Fitzgerald was home and was reading at about 9:30 p.m but never heard a shot, no commotion or any voices in the apartment above her head. She realized something had happened when police cars arrived.
“No one yelled or anything,” she said. “You would have thought I would have heard a shot. She normally hears sounds from the apartment that is about 10 feet above her, she said.
Wright and his girlfriend returned to their apartment to find police and ambulance personnel bringing Holland down the stairs. Holland was alert and even tried to sit up, he said. Ouimet was sitting in the police car. The couple had no idea what had happened.
Fitzgerald said she opened her apartment door, which is just a couple of feet from Halloran’s door, and police and paramedics were standing there but didn’t say anything to her. She learned of the shooting on the Internet on Wednesday, she said.
“They had just graduated and were starting their lives in the real world,” Wright said. “Now one is dead and the other is in jail. It’s kind of depressing.”
Cape Elizabeth High School social studies teacher Ted Jordan taught Holland in honors history and Advanced Placement government. He said Holland went by the name “Bill” and was a quiet and shy person.
Jordan said he recently sent Holland a message on Facebook about a teaching job.
“I told him I’d keep my eyes and ears open for him” he said. “I told him I’d let him know if I heard anything.”
Jordan said most of his AP government students, unlike Holland, are extroverts.
“It took an extra effort to get to know him,” he said. “But he was the most gentle of men. A very kind kid. It’s unbelievable he’s gone.”
State police are investigating the death as a homicide. An autopsy on Holland by the state medical examiner’s office was scheduled for Thursday.
The gun will be tested at the State Police Crime Lab, McCausland said.