Trooper involved in West Paris shooting returns to duty

Posted Aug. 09, 2013, at 6:05 a.m.
Last modified Aug. 13, 2013, at 2:29 p.m.
Trooper Jason Wing
Photo courtesy of Maine Department of Public Safety
Trooper Jason Wing

WEST PARIS, Maine — Jason Wing, the Maine state trooper involved in a shooting in West Paris in June, returned to active service in mid-July.

On June 8, Wing shot 18-year-old James Reynolds three times, in the head, arm and leg, during a confrontation on Roy Road in Sumner near Reynolds’ home. According to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland, Wing was investigating a report of a suspicious man on Roy Road when he encountered Reynolds, who was armed with a hunting rifle.

Even though separate reviews of the shooting by the Maine attorney general’s oOffice and the Maine State Police are ongoing, there is no requirement the investigations need to be completed before a trooper returns to duty, according to McCausland.

“We have found, with past practice, that it is helpful for the employee to get back to work as soon as possible,” McCausland said.

Wing was returned to unrestricted active duty on July 15, he said. Before that, the trooper was required to have a consultation with a psychologist and requalify with his firearm, he said.

According to McCausland, no obvious misconduct was found that would prevent Wing from returning to work.

“Obviously there might have been a different decision made by the command staff if there had been an issue there,” McCausland said. “There was not.”

The attorney general’s office reviews the case to determine if the use of deadly force was justified, while the state police conduct an internal review to determine if its policies are “adequate and understandable,” McCausland said.

A five-person panel set up to review the policy has not yet been set up, McCausland said.

The Maine attorney general’s office is still reviewing the June 8 shooting and spokesperson Tim Feeley said Thursday he “would not hazard a guess” about when it would be completed.

The time it takes to complete a justified use of force review varies from case to case but the current timeline is not unusual, Feeley said.

According to McCausland, no one has been charged in the case but an investigation into the events is “open and active.”

Reynolds was hospitalized at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston and was listed in critical condition for several days after the shooting, according to reports.

Contacted Thursday evening, Eleanor Paine, Reynolds’ grandmother, said reports that Reynolds was undergoing rehab in Portland were incorrect, but declined to speak further on the matter.

Reynolds’ mother, Julie Reynolds, referred inquiries about her son to his Lewiston attorney, Robert Laskoff. An attempt to contact Laskoff at his office Thursday afternoon was unsuccessful.

This is the second shooting by Wing. In 2008, the attorney general’s office found him justified in the use of deadly force when he fired three shots into a pickup truck driven by Lawrence Lapoint of Mexico. Lapoint was driving toward officers after allegedly trying to kill his domestic partner. No one was injured in that incident.

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