Officials say “dirty bomb” materials no threat

Posted Feb. 11, 2009, at 2:17 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine – Responding to a Bangor Daily News story about an FBI report stating that James G. Cummings, who was shot and killed in his Belfast home Dec. 9, had the ingredients in the home to make a “dirty bomb,” the Maine Department of Public Safety said today that “at no time was the health and safety of the public at risk from the items seized from the home of a Belfast man in December.”

Commissioner Anne Jordan said in a press release that “‘There have been two phases of the investigation following the shooting. The homicide continues to be investigated by Maine State Police, and the investigation into the seized materials was overseen by the FBI. A haz-mat team from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection was called to the home the night of the homicide to remove a number of items from inside the home. An assessment that night by members of the haz-mat team indicated the home was safe for State Police detectives to enter and conduct their homicide investigation after the materials had been removed. In addition, detectives felt it was appropriate that the FBI be contacted.

“‘I’ve been told by federal officials that the items seized could be purchased legally and that there was not sufficient quantity or quality to pose an immediate threat or hazard to the health and safety of the public,’” Jordan continued. “‘The homicide investigation by State Police remains active and open.’”

State police have identified Cummings’ wife, Amber Cummings, as the person who shot him. The couple’s 9-year-old daughter was present the morning of the shooting in what police have described as a domestic violence homicide.

Amber Cummings has not been charged in the case.

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