Timothy Courtois of Biddeford, Maine, was arrested after other drivers reported seeing a Mustang speeding with its lights flashing around 10 a.m. Sunday. A state trooper clocked the car at 112 mph.
Courtois told authorities he was on his way to Derry, N.H., to shoot a former employer. He also said he had attended the Batman movie at the Cinemagic Theater in Saco the previous night. A search of his car turned up an AK-47 assault weapon, four handguns, ammunition and clippings about the mass shooting in Colorado that left 12 people dead at a Friday midnight screening of the same movie, authorities said.
"We don't know what his true intentions were," said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety. "Based on the arsenal that was confiscated, we brought in our counterparts from the FBI and ATF to assist with the investigation."
Later Sunday, police searched Courtois' home and found a machine gun, several other guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Authorities were still trying Monday to confirm whether Courtois actually attended the movie, but state Police Lt. Kevin Donovan said Courtois appeared to be telling the truth when interviewed by investigators. A spokesman for the movie theater chain
"I guess we're taking everything at face value," Donovan said. "It's very scary."
In New Hampshire, Courtois' former boss said he heard from the FBI on Sunday night and was told that Courtois had named him as his intended target. The man, who asked not to be identified because of the ongoing investigation, said Courtois worked as an insurance agent in his firm from 1995 to 2000.
"I hadn't heard from him in 10 years so I was rather surprised. Only after the fact did I realize that if it were not for police stopping him, I could've wound up a dead person," he said.
The man said Courtois was a good employee who left his job voluntarily. He was offered a share of the business but didn't like the payment amount offered to him when he left, the man said.
Courtois was charged with speeding and possession of a concealed weapon. He made an initial appearance in Springvale District Court on Monday afternoon and was ordered held on bail, Donovan said. The officer did not know the amount.
Both the York County district attorney's office and the U.S. attorney's office are reviewing the case.