Detective: Attempted murder suspect fired seven rounds after robbery, drug deal gone wrong

  • Devon Gilligan, 18, of Concord —Courtesy

  • Chea Chebo, 18, of Concord —Courtesy

  • Nicholas Castillo, 19, of Hooksett —Courtesy

  • Devon Gilligan of Concord arrives for his arraignment on Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Merrimack County Superior Court after his arrest the day before on charges of attempted murder, armed robbery and second-degree assault. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Devon Gilligan of Concord looks over at prosecutors during his arraignment on Thursday, March 14, 2019, in Merrimack County Superior Court after his arrest for attempted murder. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 3/14/2019 9:33:37 AM

A Concord teenager shot seven rounds from a Glock handgun and nearly killed an 18-year-old after a planned robbery and drug deal went awry, a city police detective testified Thursday.

Devon Gilligan, now 18, had communicated over social media about plans to sell four grams of marijuana for $20 outside the Penacook Place Apartments in the early-morning hours of Nov. 24, Concord police Detective William Carroll said at an arraignment and bail hearing. But Gilligan had no intentions of following through on the deal; rather, he planned to rob the man he only knew on Snapchat with the help of friends, Carroll said.

County prosecutors say the victim, Devyn Bowe, could have died that morning after suffering a gunshot wound to his left shoulder and a graze mark on his right arm. Investigators found bullets holes in the car headrest directly behind Bowe, who was able to speed off and then call 911 from a convenience store two miles away in Penacook.

Gilligan’s friends told police they knew he had a gun but thought it was going to be used to intimidate Bowe and not actually fired off, Carroll testified.

Details from the police investigation were shared for the first time publicly Thursday as Gilligan faced a judge in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, where he is charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and second-degree assault. Following a nearly-two-hour hearing, Judge John Kissinger Jr. ordered Gilligan held at the Merrimack County jail in Boscawen without bail pending trial.

“I find by clear and convincing evidence that the state has proven that you are the person who committed the offense of attempted murder,” Kissinger said.

The “clear and convincing” standard is a lower burden of proof than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard prosecutors are required to meet for a conviction.

Gilligan was arrested Wednesday after he was released from the John H. Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester, where he was staying on an unrelated matter. Concord police took Gilligan to the youth detention center following the November incident and did not bring charges until this week, coinciding with his 18th birthday.

Police also arrested Chea Chebo, 18, of Concord and Nicholas Castillo, 19, of Hooksett on felony charges of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and accomplice to robbery. Both men were released on personal recognizance and will be arraigned in Concord later this month.

Their arrests came this week following a multi-month investigation by city police who responded to the area of 50 Pinehurst St. on Nov. 24 at approximately 1:38 a.m. for a report of shots fired at a sedan.

Bowe initially told police the shooting was a random act of violence. He then admitted that a friend had put him in contact with someone selling marijuana, noting the dealer asked if he planned to have a gun on him when they met in Penacook, Carroll said. When Bowe said he would not be armed, the dealer replied, “Good, I have PTSD,” and further explained he’d recently been robbed.

When Bowe drove around back of the apartment complex, he saw a man, whom police say was Gilligan, approach his vehicle at the same time that other men came out from the nearby tree line, Carroll told the court. After Gilligan got in the passenger seat, Bowe sped off, believing he was a target.

Inside the car, Gilligan displayed the Glock 9mm and demanded that Bowe empty his pockets, Carroll summarized. Bowe refused and then told Gilligan to get out of the car, and that is when Gilligan stepped out and quickly fired off several rounds, according to police.

Through interviews, police learned that Chebo and Castillo had planned to get in the backseat of the sedan, but that Bowe had driven away before they were able to do so.

Castillo told police he had traveled from his home in Hooksett to Gilligan’s family’s house on Woodbine Avenue in Penacook on the evening of Nov. 23. That night, Castillo and other family members said they saw Gilligan with a handgun after he had returned from outside to deal marijuana.

In an interview, Gilligan’s stepfather said he heard Castillo and Gilligan leave the house on Nov. 24 about 1 a.m. through a window and looked outside to confirm it was indeed them.

Exactly who was in the passenger seat of the sedan when it sped by Penacook Place was open for debate during Thursday’s bail hearing. Defense attorney Jennifer Uhouse tried to poke holes in the state’s case against Gilligan, noting that Bowe had initially identified the suspect as having a Hispanic accent. Further, she said, he only confirmed that Gilligan had fired the shots after reviewing photos on Facebook with friends.

Carroll said he compiled a photo array, also known as a suspect lineup, but that it was never used.

Police ask anyone with information about the case to contact Concord police Lt. Sean Ford at 225-8600 or the Concord Regional Crimeline at 226-3100.

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