Maine AG: 2020 Shooting Of Old Town Man By Police Justified
Maine's Attorney General Aaron M. Frey weighed in on the investigation into whether or not members of the Maine State Police were justified in using deadly force during a standoff in Old Town in April of 2020.
The AG's office said in a press release this week, that authorities were called to a residence at 28 Bodwell St. in Old Town just after midnight on April 14, for the report of gunshots. It was determined that 31-year-old Thomas Powell, who had been identified as a person of interest in connection with some alleged residential burglaries in Hancock County, was inside, and armed. Based on prior criminal history checks and a conversation with Powell's mother, who owned the Bodwell St. building, authorities learned that Powell's mental health was deteriorating and that he had shown a tendency for violence in the past.
Later that morning, members of the State Police Tactical Team arrived on the scene with a warrant for Powell's arrest. They then evacuated neighboring residents and set up a perimeter outside of the home.
According to the A.G.'s report, Powell fired at officers with a .22 caliber weapon from within the home, and then came out to the front porch, in what authorities believed was an intention to do harm. At that point, State Police Detective Scott Duff and Trooper Garrett Booth both called out to Powell to drop his weapon, and when he didn't, opened fire in his direction.
Powell died at the scene. As is the case with all Officer Related Shootings, an investigation was conducted.
The results of that investigation were released today, and Detective Duff and Trooper Booth were both cleared of any wrongdoing.
"When Det. Duff and Trpr. Booth shot at Mr. Powell, they knew that Mr. Powell had used unlawful deadly force by shooting at Corporal Neagle and Trpr. Sucy. They were also aware that Mr. Powell had fired his weapon in the direction of neighboring homes, placing the residents at risk. At the time that the officer shot at Mr. Powell, he appeared to be scanning for additional targets and refused repeated commands to put his gun down. His conduct continued to pose an imminent risk of death or serious bodily injury to the officers and the residents in the densely populated neighborhood. All the facts and circumstances point to the conclusion that the officers acted in self-defense and the defense of others. "
The Maine Attorney General also cleared two members of the Falmouth Police Department, saying they were also deemed justified in using deadly force during an incident with an armed man in Falmouth last October.