SMYRNA, Maine — A local man is dead after an armed confrontation Tuesday night with a state police trooper and a deputy from the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office.
The man was identified Wednesday morning as Kenneth Kreyssig, 61, according to a press release issued by Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.
The two officers involved in the shooting — State Police Sgt. Chad Fuller and Deputy Stewart Kennedy of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office — were not injured, according to McCausland. He said both have been placed on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure in the aftermath of an officer-involved shooting.
As is also standard with officer involved shootings, the state Attorney General’s Office is investigating the incident, McCausland said.
The shooting occurred just before 8 p.m. inside a home on Smyrna Center Road, according to McCausland. Smyrna is located about 14 miles west of Houlton.
McCausland said Kreyssig lived with his elderly mother, and police were called to the home after family members reported he was suicidal.
He did not release information about which officer fired shots or whether Kreyssig died at the scene.
A criminal background search revealed Kreyssig was found guilty of misdemeanor assault charges in 1995 in Houlton District Court and again in 2002 in Calais District Court, according to a report obtained from the Maine State Bureau of Identification.
He was sentenced to a $10 fine and 16 days in jail in the first assault case and fined $300 in the second case.
Late Wednesday morning, there was no sign a shooting had taken place on the property. No law enforcement officers or crime scene tape remained around the blue two-story home, which was surrounded by snowbanks.
Smyrna Town Manager Candy Nevers said Kreyssig and his mother appeared to be quiet people who kept to themselves and did not customarily attend town meetings or community gatherings.
“They have lived here a number of years,” she said. “They are quiet people. I have only seen them a couple of times a year when they came into the town office.”
Nevers said her heart went out to everyone impacted by the events.
“God bless those law enforcement officers,” she said.
A number of area residents were reluctant to talk about the shooting Wednesday.
One woman, who lived just up the road from Kreyssig and his mother but declined to give her name, said she used to see the victim outside every once in a while during the summer.
“Other than that, I was surprised when I heard that there was an elderly woman living there,” she said. “What will become of her now? I can’t imagine how she is feeling, how those officers are feeling. It is just awful.”
Fuller has been with the state police for 15 years and is a police dog handler for the northern Troop F.
Deputy Kennedy is a 2009 graduate of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, who worked for the Houlton Police Department for five years before joining the Sheriff’s Office.
Tuesday night’s shooting was the second time in four months a trooper from the Houlton barracks has been put in a deadly force situation.
On Oct. 12, 2014, Alan Gillotti Sr. was shot at his home in Ludlow after an armed confrontation with Sgt. Joshua Haines.
Gillotti, 52, was alleged to have been involved in an armed home invasion in Bridgewater with another individual earlier that day.
That shooting remains under investigation by the attorney general’s office.