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Groton City police arrest man wanted in Westerly fatal shooting

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Groton — City police have arrested the 31-year-old man who has been wanted for murder and at large for the past week after he allegedly shot and killed his cousin at a home in Westerly last Saturday.

Louis M. Seignious Jr. of Norwich is accused of fatally shooting Vincent A. Sebastian, 28, of Ledyard at 3:55 p.m. Jan. 25 at 11B Marriott Ave., Westerly. He was found by City Police in the Branford Manor Apartment Complex on Saturday evening after he fell through the ceiling of one of the units after trying to hide in a heating duct.

City Police Chief Mike Spellman said officers arrived at building No. 24 in the complex after they had received a tip that Seignious was in the area about 5 p.m.

“It turned into a little bit of a keystone cop thing trying to get him. ... But we got him,” Spellman said.

Meanwhile, officers discovered another man wanted by police was in the same building Seignious was hiding in but was not associated with his case. There was a warrant out for Steven Wilhelm of Norwich for a first-degree charge of failing to appear in court.

"He thought we were coming after him, so he panicked and ran and we got him," Spellman said. "So it was kind of a wrong place at the wrong time."

Spellman said Seignious was being held at the Groton City Police Department and was charged as a fugitive from justice, as the murder charges originated in Rhode Island, as well as charges related to Saturday’s arrest, including two counts of first-degree criminal mischief and interfering with a police officer.

Spellman said Seignious’ bond was set to $1 million and he is to be arraigned Monday in New London Superior Court.

Westerly police were on scene Saturday and said they had not yet interviewed Seignious.

Groton City and Town police, as well as Westerly police, stayed on scene at the Branford Manor complex Saturday after Seignious was captured, looking for what Spellman said may be the murder weapon associated with the Jan. 25 shooting: a small revolver that police believed he hid in a dumpster area behind buildings No. 24 and 25 of the complex. A Groton City firetruck came to assist police with spotlights as they searched the dumpsters for the weapon.

By 7 p.m., police had left the scene.

Spellman said an investigation into how and why Seignious was at the Branford Manor complex was ongoing and no other arrests had been made.

Seignious, who is accused to shooting his Mashantucket Pequot Tribal cousin in the chest, prompted a search last weekend involving several local police departments after officers say he fled from the Westerly crime scene. He was last seen on the Mashantucket Pequot reservation. Police had issued a “be on the lookout” and warned the public that Seignious could be armed and dangerous.

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Police Chief William D. Dittman said an officer attempting to stop Seignious about 5 p.m. Jan. 25 had to take evasive action to avoid a head-on collision.

Dittman had said his department applied in New London Superior Court for a warrant charging Seignious with first-degree assault and first-degree reckless endangerment and offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to his capture.

Ledyard police also became involved in the incident after an unoccupied silver sedan, believed to be driven by Seignious, was found running in the middle of the road in front of 904 Shewville Road on Jan. 25, Ledyard police Lt. Kenneth Creutz had told The Day. Canine teams were called out to the area, but it was unclear whether Seignious had fled on foot or in another car, and heavy rain hampered the search.

"When we got there we had an empty vehicle running in the middle of road," Creutz had said. "We had no witnesses, don't know who was driving and didn't have a direction of travel."

At the time of the Jan. 25 shooting, Seignious, who previously had served five years in prison for armed home invasions in Montville and Ledyard, was free on a $50,000 bond on charges of violation of probation, driving while his license is suspended and possession of marijuana. As a condition of his release, he was ordered to stay employed and not use drugs. His court document noted he has a medical marijuana card.

His mother, Alethea Gilliam, this past week launched a GoFundMe page, saying her son will need funds for a lawyer. As of late Saturday evening, only $5 had been donated.

m.biekert@theday.com

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