HAMPDEN, Maine — A veteran Hampden police officer who fatally shot a man who pointed a handgun at police last month has been cleared to go back to work.
Sgt. Chris Bailey was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into the June 9 incident, which resulted in the death of Cameron Arrigoni, 21, at Arringoni’s home at 36 Main Road South.
A 20-year veteran of the Hampden Police Department, Bailey said Tuesday that while he is glad to be back in a work routine, he wishes the incident had ended differently.
“It was a very unfortunate event. My heart goes out to this young man’s parents and family and friends. I mean that sincerely. I wish it had never happened,” Bailey said Tuesday.
“Regardless of what took place that night, he was cared about by a lot of people,” Bailey said.
“It’s the type of scenario that as police officers we know can happen but hope we never have to have happen,” he said.
According to Hampden Public Safety Director Joe Rogers, Arrigoni was shot by Bailey after he pointed a handgun at Bailey and Officer Bill Miller, who were called to his home by a 24-year-old woman with whom he was living. The woman had reported that Arrigoni was suicidal.
While en route, “officers heard there was some altercation between the female and the male,” Rogers said the day after the shooting.
The woman had locked herself in an upstairs bedroom and an armed Arrigoni was trying to break down the door, the police chief said.
“They went up into the second story where the suspect pointed a gun at Officer Bailey,” Rogers said. “Bailey fired his weapon.”
“We certainly empathize with [Arrigoni’s] family,” Rogers said Tuesday. “It was an awful event.”
According to Rogers, Hampden police never had dealt with Arrigoni in the past.
Arrigoni was from Winterport and a 2009 graduate of Hampden Academy, according to his obituary. He worked as a dietary aide at Westgate Manor in Bangor, where he often played piano for residents.
Bailey was cleared to return to work on June 27 after an internal review by Hampden police concluded that Bailey had not violated any of the Police Department’s policies and procedures, Rogers said Monday.
Still pending are the results of an investigation by the state attorney general’s office and a review by an independent panel expected to be named in the next week or two, both of which are protocol when an officer-related shooting occurs, Rogers said.
Timothy Feeley, a spokesman for the state attorney general’s office, said Tuesday that the review into the Hampden incident is still underway.
“Unfortunately, there have been a number of these [police-related shootings] that our office is still reviewing, and we’re just trying to work our way through them all,” Feeley said. “It could be a couple more weeks before that process is done.”
Rogers said the independent review panel will include representatives from state, county and local law enforcement as well as a community member.
The panel’s mission is “not to look for fault but to look at if there’s anything that could have been handled better, if there’s anything we could have done differently,” Rogers said. The time frame for the independent review has not year been firmed up, he said.
“I’m hoping it’s sooner rather than later, obviously,” Rogers said.
The Hampden shooting is one of at least three involving armed people and police over the past two months.
On June 8, an 18-year-old man from Wells was shot by a Maine State Police trooper. James Reynolds, who had a hunting rifle on him while walking along Roy Road in West Paris about 6:45 p.m., was shot by Trooper Jason Wing. That incident did not result in a fatality.
On July 3, Daniel Pinney, 26, of Calais was shot dead by Calais police in a domestic violence standoff. A police spokesman said he had forced 21-year-old Megan Sherrard and her 6-week-old son, Luca, to leave a doctor’s office parking lot with him and go to his house, according to a police spokesman. Pinney was shot dead by police after he reportedly shot the young mother and son.