Lagrange man killed in police standoff had health problems, family member says

A three-hour standoff ended Sunday night when a Maine state trooper shot and killed Lewis Conlogue outside the former Highland Farm Restaurant in LaGrange.
Linda Coan O'Kresik | BDN
A three-hour standoff ended Sunday night when a Maine state trooper shot and killed Lewis Conlogue outside the former Highland Farm Restaurant in LaGrange. Buy Photo
Posted Aug. 04, 2014, at 7:31 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 05, 2014, at 2:46 a.m.
Lewis Conlogue
Contributed photo
Lewis Conlogue

LAGRANGE, Maine — A local man who was shot and killed by a state police trooper following an armed standoff Sunday evening had been depressed because of health problems, according to his mother-in-law.

State police Sgt. Scott Hamilton shot Lewis Conlogue, 49, near 5572 Bennoch Road. Conlogue held off police for about three hours outside the former Highland Farm Restaurant along Route 16, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said. McCausland declined to identify the weapon Conlogue held.

Hamilton was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a Maine Attorney General’s Office investigation, which is standard procedure in any incident when a police officer shoots someone.

Noreen Shorey said Monday that Conlogue, a former truck driver, and her daughter, DanaRae Conlogue, had been married for about two years. Both disabled, the two had a loving relationship marred only by a heart ailment — possibly a heart attack Lewis Conlogue suffered in March — that dramatically changed his mood from outgoing to very depressed, Shorey said.

“The hospital [Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor] said he had a heart issue, but they never really gave a complete diagnosis,” Shorey said at her daughter’s Lagrange apartment. “His personality changed, as it does when people are forced to confront their own mortality. It takes a lot out of you.”

Heart attacks and other heart ailments are known to cause depression. According to a report issued by Harvard Medical School in 2006, about 50 percent of hospitalized heart patients show several depressive symptoms, and up to 20 percent develop major depression as a result of their illnesses.

Prior to the heart attack, the Conlogues adopted two children, a 9-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, and enjoyed riding all-terrain-vehicles. The two returned from a vacation in Tennessee about two weeks ago and seemed happy from that experience, Shorey said.

Lewis Conlogue may have intended to kill himself, Shorey said, but he never threatened his wife prior to being shot by police.

Shorey said DanaRae and her family were upset with the term “domestic incident” they said was used by police to describe the armed standoff. They felt it implied violence occurring or being threatened against Mrs. Conlogue.

“He loved her very much. She was his life,” Shorey said of her son-in-law Monday. “He never once turned his hand against her or threatened her. When anything happened that upset her, it upset him very much.”

McCausland said he didn’t believe he used the words “domestic incident” to describe the events leading up to the shooting. The Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the incident. Penobscot County Chief Deputy Troy Morton did not immediately return messages left Monday.

“The circumstances of this shooting are being investigated by the attorney general’s office, and the specifics of this incident will be detailed by them in a report that will come out in several weeks,” McCausland said Monday.

Shorey quoted one of her daughter’s recent Facebook postings to describe the couple’s relationship: “There are no words that I can say for anyone but to you, Lewis Conlogue. You are my best friend, you brought me more happiness in our short 2½ years than I had in a lifetime,” Conlogue wrote. “You gave me strength that I never believed that I could have. You were gentle, kind, loving, tender and all I could have asked for. I may not see your eyes, I may not feel your touch or kiss your lips, but I feel you in my heart, I feel you in my soul. For forever and two days, you are my life, my love, my everything.”

DanaRae Conlogue’s son, John, and Shorey declined to comment on Sunday’s incident in detail, except to say Conlogue never took his wife hostage. He had been behaving in slightly strange ways in the weeks leading up to the incident, Shorey said.

Sheriff Glenn Ross said Conlogue refused to cooperate with deputies and threatened violence if anyone approached him. The sheriff’s office called state police negotiators to the scene.

The incident drew at least 16 vehicles from multiple agencies, according to Gary Jeane, who had just begun moving his family into a trailer near the former restaurant when the incident occurred.

“We moved here from Holden to get away from crime, and it was right next to us on our first night,” his girlfriend, 29-year-old Angelica Grenier, said.

The incident forced police to keep Jeane and Grenier out of their new home for about three hours, they said.

Shorey described DanaRae as distraught at the incident and said she wanted to keep her daughter from further emotional upset. DanaRae Conlogue was not available for comment Monday.

“She just keeps telling me, ‘Mama, he loved me, he loved me,’” Shorey said.

Conlogue also questions why she called 911, wondering whether she could have resolved the incident differently by herself, according to her mother.

Shorey said she doesn’t know whether Conlogue was shot as part of a police-assisted suicide attempt or something else. She wondered whether anyone would ever know what happened or why. Shorey is only certain, she said, that she believes her daughter when she says that Conlogue never intended to harm her.

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