Homeless man arrested for firing gun at Wilmington house, police say

Authorities arrested a homeless man for allegedly shooting a gun at an unoccupied Wilmington home on October 5.

57-year-old Mark Bickford, who officials say is unhoused, was charged with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a loaded firearm, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, and operating with a suspended driver’s license.

Officers responded to the area of Chestnut Street for a homeowner who found ballistic damage to their house, according to Wilmington Police. No one was inside the home at the time of the shooting.

After a comprehensive investigation, police say Bickford was identified as a person of interest.

Bickford allegedly drove down Chestnut Street and fired one shot from a handgun into a house. Authorities say this was a random incident with no specific target in mind.

On November 1, Wilmington Detectives took Bickford into custody on Lowell Street.

He was arraigned at Woburn District Court and held in custody.

Chief Joseph Desmond commended his officers’ diligence in bringing Bickford to justice. He also wants to reiterate to the community that this incident was isolated.

“I want our residents to know that Mark Bickford will be held accountable for his reckless actions. But I also want to reassure you that everything in this investigation showed that Mark Bickford was not targeting any individual or residence. I want our residents to feel safe in their homes,” he said.

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