A Maine food truck owner said he shot and injured a man in self-defense after the man wielded a knife at motorists and threatened to kill people ahead of a holiday parade in the New England town. 

“You always anticipate dealing with danger in a certain way, but you never know how you will react or how it would play out until you actually live it. It all happened so fast but in slow motion at the same time,” Addy’s food truck owner David Poto told Fox News Digital of the incident that unfolded on Dec. 1. 

Poto and his family were setting up their food truck business in Sanford in the late afternoon on Dec. 1, ahead of the town’s Christmas tree lighting event and “Holly Daze” parade, when Poto spotted the man. 

Poto said he witnessed the unidentified man wielding a knife at motorists and threatening to kill them. He initially confronted the man without showing him he was holding a concealed firearm behind his leg, Poto told the Portsmouth Herald. 

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Poto told local media that he got the man’s attention while he stood near traffic, leading the man to allegedly respond: “I’m going to kill you” and “I’m going to stab you.”

Poto explained his wife was standing near their food truck, as the couple’s four young daughters watched a Christmas movie inside the vehicle. 

“I didn’t want to escalate anything,” Poto said. “But I knew the danger was coming toward us. Worst-case scenario, I was prepared.”

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David Poto and wife

The food truck owner said he tried to calm the man and get him to sit down, but that the suspect continued walking toward Poto, even when the business owner pulled out his firearm. 

“He didn’t care,” Poto said of the man’s reaction when he pulled out his Glock, according to the Portsmouth Herald.  

Handgun

Poto said that out of fear for his family’s safety and his own, he fired his gun and struck the man in the leg. 

“I was trying to avoid his arteries,” Poto said. “I didn’t want to kill him.”

The man reportedly fell to the ground in pain and started shouting the word “rape” and accusing Poto of “shooting a woman.” 

Sanford Maine parking lot

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Police said in a press release that they received a report of a man who was shot around 3:52 p.m. Friday. Witnesses told investigators they saw a man standing in traffic and yelling at cars while holding a knife before he was shot by Poto. 

“This male approached a food truck that was parked in the parking lot of T-Mobile,” police stated in the press release. “There was a confrontation with the owner of the truck and the male with the knife. The male with the knife was shot.”

The parade kicked off shortly after, at 5:30 p.m., with the tree lighting following the festive parade. 

Santa and Mrs. Clause in parade

Poto said he now has trouble sleeping, and that his daughters are “completely shook up.”

“I hate the fact that somebody had to get hurt,” he told the Portsmouth Herald. “I hate the fact that he put me in that position in the first place. I didn’t want any part of it.”

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“Those first few days were like a constant adrenaline rush, between the incident itself, talking to the police, wondering what happens next for our business, coping with the trauma, and the social media chatter,” Poto told Fox News Digital. 

“[Poto and his wife] looked at each other on Thursday, one of our most profitable weekdays, and we just couldn’t bring ourselves to open. I think the weight of it all just sort of hit us,” he added.  

Locals organized a rally in support of the Poto family and their food truck – their main source of income – this past Friday. 

Maine Police Department entrance

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“We know that they suffered a traumatic event and also lost a very busy night right at the holiday season,” fellow local business owner Jason Cole, who organized the event, said, according to the Portsmouth Herald. “We are honored to help them out… to show them that the community supports them and will help them recover.”

The suspect was taken to a local hospital and listed in critical condition. 

Police are still investigating the matter.

“The community support just takes our breath away. I think everyone around us knew what we needed before we did, which we will be eternally grateful for,” Poto said of the support he and his family received from the community. 

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