June 21, 2018
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Details blurry on Calais shootings; police won’t release new information for several weeks

By Mario Moretto, BDN Staff

CALAIS, Maine — Questions about the circumstances of the shootings here on Wednesday — including whether the man shot dead by police had fired at the officers — will remain unanswered for several weeks, according to Maine State Police.

What we know so far: State police say Daniel Pinney, 26, of Calais, shot the mother of his son, 21-year-old Megan Sherrard, multiple times, and also shot his 6-week-old child, Luca, in the foot on July 3. They also say that Calais police officers shot and killed Pinney at his Main Street home as Sherrard fled with the baby. Calais officers John Preston and Joseph Bartlett both fired at Pinney.

Pinney and Sherrard were no longer together as a couple at the time of the shooting, according to state police spokesman Stephen McCausland. Pinney was out on bail for a domestic violence criminal threatening charge involving Sherrard, and was barred from contacting her. He had been arrested on May 18, and Sherrard had filed a protection from harassment and abuse order against him on June 11.

What’s still hazy is the exact sequence of events on July 3. McCausland declined to comment on whether Sherrard and the baby had already been shot before they fled or were shot as they ran.

Preston’s hand also was grazed by a bullet, which would suggest an exchange of fire, but McCausland also declined comment on whether Pinney shot at the police. The Calais Police Department has routed all questions to state police.

Officials are staying tight-lipped because the incident involves a dual investigation by state police, who will investigate the shooting of Sherrard and the baby, and the attorney general’s office, which will look into the shooting of Pinney. The AG’s office is legally required to intervene whenever a law enforcement officer shoots anyone.

Because much of the information about the incident is germane to both investigations, McCausland said state police would not comment until the AG’s office publishes its findings, which likely will take “several weeks.” The AG’s office does not comment on ongoing investigations.

“There is some overlap here, and by law the AG’s office is the agency that investigates officer-involved shootings,” he said Friday. “There was a component to that in this event, so I am deferring to them to do their part of the investigation, and information will come out at an appropriate time.”

On Thursday, state police issued a statement saying that just hours before the shooting, it appeared Sherrard failed to show up for a doctor’s appointment in Calais that had been scheduled for the baby. The woman’s father, worried about Sherrard’s whereabouts, found her car in the doctor’s office parking lot.

“It appears likely that Pinney confronted Sherrard in the parking lot and forced her to return with him to his house,” McCausland wrote in an earlier press release.

Megan and Luca Sherrard were both taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor to be treated for their gunshot wounds. An EMMC spokeswoman offered no comment on their condition on Friday. Preston was treated and released from Calais Regional Hospital, according to the Calais Police Department.

An autopsy was scheduled Friday for Pinney at the state medical examiner’s office. Efforts to learn the results of that autopsy were unsuccessful on Friday.

Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.

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