Two state troopers justified in summer shootings, Maine attorney general finds

Posted Dec. 31, 2012, at 5:59 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 31, 2012, at 6:15 p.m.
William Schneider
AP photo
William Schneider

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s attorney general has decided two state police troopers were justified when they shot men in two separate instances over the summer.

Michael McKay, 24, fatally shot himself at his home on Buck Lane in Hermon after state police Trooper Gregory Roy, who also is a member of the tactical team, fired a bullet that struck McKay in the leg on the night of July 1.

In an Aug. 14 shooting, state police Trooper Christopher Hashey shot and wounded Warren Dome, 54, when Dome came after the trooper with a knife in the driveway to Dome’s Edinburg home, according to police.

At the times the two troopers fired their weapons, it was reasonable for them to believe that their lives or the lives of fellow officers were in danger and their decisions to use deadly force to stop the threats were justified, Attorney General William J. Schneider said in two separate reports released Monday afternoon.

The state medical examiner determined McKay died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The examiner also found McKay’s blood-alcohol content at the time of his death was 0.24 percent.

McKay had met with his estranged wife on July 1 to discuss divorce proceedings, according to police. He purchased a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun with a laser sight and a box of ammunition in Orrington later that afternoon, according to one of Schneider’s reports.

He then drove to a home in Kenduskeag, where he believed his wife was staying, and pointed his gun at a man at the residence. The two men struggled, and the resident eventually pushed McKay out the door and told him he was going to call police.

As he left the Kenduskeag residence, McKay fired three shots at his wife’s empty vehicle, which was parked outside, according to the report. He later called his wife’s cellphone 30 times. He left two messages, the last one saying, “The troopers are here to get me, but they’re not gonna take me,” according to Schneider.

A standoff with police started later that evening after McKay returned to his home in Hermon. Police watched McKay brandish the handgun and saw the laser sight pointing out the window.

A negotiator spoke with McKay, who refused to come out of the residence.

Members of the Maine State Police Tactical Team were deployed around the home when McKay finally did come outside. McKay fired two shots in the direction of tactical team members, and Roy returned fire, hitting McKay in the leg, according to the attorney general’s report.

McKay fell backward into the home and seconds later police heard a single shot from inside. They found McKay dead when they entered the home.

Prior to the other police-involved shooting in Edinburg, a caller, later identified as Warren Dome, called 911 and asked the dispatcher to send units to 682 Edinburg Road, adding that he didn’t “want to go on anymore,” according the Schneider.

He told the dispatcher to “send the militia,” and that he was “not going to go down easy,” according to the report.

Trooper Christopher Hashey was dispatched to the scene after being informed that the caller might be suicidal. Hashey picked up Penobscot County sheriff’s Deputy Raymond Goodspeed, and the two drove past Dome’s home around 6 p.m. Aug. 14. They hoped to tactically approach the building but had to abandon their plan when they saw a man and woman approaching the entrance and had to stop them, according to Schneider.

The couple knew Dome, and said they had extinguished a small fire near the entrance to the driveway and were on their way to speak with Dome. Hashey and Goodspeed told the pair to leave.

As the couple got into their vehicle, Dome “emerged from behind the house with a large knife in his hand,” according to Schneider. Dome moved toward Hashey “while displaying the knife in a threatening manner.”

Hashey walked backwards down the driveway while he and Goodspeed shouted for Dome to stop and drop the knife. Dome continued to advance on Hashey, who had backed into the road. Continuing to ignore commands to stop, Dome closed to within 10 feet of Hashey, who fired two rounds, both of which struck Dome.

Hashey and Goodspeed gave Dome first aid until emergency medical services arrived and took Dome to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor by helicopter.

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