A Lewiston, Maine, man was arrested early Monday on a murder charge in the fatal stabbing of a Bates College student during a fight that followed a random encounter near the campus, police said.
Brandon Thongsavanh, 19, of Lewiston, was being held in the Androscoggin County Jail while awaiting his initial appearance Tuesday in Lewiston District Court in the slaying of Morgan McDuffee, 22.
The altercation took place shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday as McDuffee, the captain of the Bates lacrosse team, and a group of friends were walking on Main Street toward his apartment.
The students encountered a group of local youths, words were exchanged, and the episode quickly turned violent, according to police.
Investigators revealed little new information on Monday, saying they were not prepared to go into specifics regarding what provoked the fight or to talk about witness statements or physical evidence.
But McDuffee’s younger brother, who was in Lewiston to see his brother’s weekend lacrosse game, said Morgan McDuffee was stabbed when he tried to break up a fight between local youths and two team members.
Dylan McDuffee said he never found out what triggered the fight.
The students and local youths numbered at least two dozen at the height of the encounter, according to Lt. Brian McDonough of the Maine State Police, who said the participants did not know the people they had met.
“This wasn’t a planned event at all. This was two ships that collided in the night,” he said.
McDuffee was transported to Central Maine Medical Center, where he died of multiple stab wounds. Investigators would not disclose whether a weapon was recovered. Four others suffered less serious injuries and did not require hospital treatment, police said.
Dylan McDuffee said police told him they had confiscated physical evidence from the suspect’s home that linked him to the killing.
McDonough would not comment on what led investigators to Thongsavanh, who was arrested without incident at his home less than 24 hours after the brawl. Investigators did not rule out additional arrests.
Police said the investigation was in its early stages and the possible role of alcohol and drugs was being explored.