AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine attorney general’s office has ruled the fatal shooting of a Hampden man by a local police officer earlier this year was justified.
Sgt. Christian Bailey of the Hampden Police Department shot and killed Cameron Arrigoni, 21, on June 9 at Arrigoni’s home on Main Road South, according to a previously published report.
“Attorney General Janet T. Mills has concluded that at the time Sgt. Bailey fired his weapon at Mr. Arrigoni, Sgt. Bailey actually and reasonably believed that deadly force was imminently threatened against him, and that it was reasonable for Sgt. Bailey to believe it necessary to use deadly force to protect himself from the imminent threat of deadly force by Mr. Arrigoni,” Mills said in a report issued Friday.
Bailey, a 20-year veteran of the Hampden force, was placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting was investigated. He was cleared to return to duty on June 27.
Since 1995, Maine’s attorney general has investigated any shooting involving a law enforcement officer who fires his or her weapon while acting in the performance of his or her duties, according to Tim Feeley, spokesman for the AG’s office.
Data provided by Feeley showed that between 1995 and 2012 there were 84 shootings by officers in Maine. Of those, 41 resulted in deaths. Arrigoni is one of four people killed in the seven shootings by officers so far in 2013.
Officers have been cleared in all the shootings since 1995 except for four pending cases that have occurred this year, according to Feeley.
The incident that led to Arrigoni’s shooting began when Arrigoni, who had been drinking heavily, told his live-in girlfriend that he was going to commit suicide and got a gun out of his car, the attorney general’s office said Friday. She called 911 about 9:15 p.m. but hung up when he again threatened to kill himself.
When Bailey and Officer William Miller arrived, Arrigoni was trying to break down the locked door of the bedroom where the girlfriend had gone in an attempt to call 911 again, the report said. As the officers ascended the steep and narrow stairwell to the second floor of the residence, they heard Arrigoni shouting to his girlfriend, “You just killed me, you just killed me.”
“Once at the top of the stairs, Sgt. Bailey noted the broken bedroom door and yelled ‘Police!’ as he crossed the threshold of the room,” the attorney general’s office said. “Mr. Arrigoni, who was standing next to the girlfriend at the foot of the bed in the small bedroom, turned toward Sgt. Bailey and pointed a handgun — later determined to be a loaded .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol — directly at Sgt. Bailey. Sgt. Bailey fired two rounds from his .45 caliber service weapon at Mr. Arrigoni, who was struck by the gunfire and fell to the floor.”
Arrigoni was taken to a Bangor hospital where he was pronounced dead, the report said. An autopsy performed by the chief medical examiner’s office in Augusta determined that he died as a result of gunshot wounds to the head and upper torso.
His blood alcohol level was 0.183 at the time of his death, more than twice the legal limit to operate a vehicle. A moderate amount of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, also was found in his system.