The law enforcement officer who shot two people in Machiasport on Saturday had just joined the Marine Patrol in October, according to the Department of Marine Resources.
Matthew Carter of Marshfield was the officer who wounded Jason Jackson and Tiffany Smith inside the duplex where Smith lives on Corn Hill Road, said DMR spokesman Jeff Nichols.
Carter, who has been placed on paid administrative leave, refused Wednesday to discuss the shooting.
“At no point will I be giving any statement to any media,” he said. “It’s not because I don’t like you. It’s just not our policy.”
Carter grew up around Machias and is stationed in Lubec. He is a former Washington County Sheriff’s deputy and also serves as a military police officer in the Maine Army National Guard, according to DMR. The Marine Patrol is a law enforcement branch of DMR charged primarily with enforcing the state’s fisheries and marine regulations in coastal and tidal areas.
Carter’s identity was withheld for several days to shield him from public scrutiny, Nichols said.
“Colonel [Jonathan] Cornish wanted to allow Officer Carter to focus on interviews conducted by the [Attorney General’s] Office, which are part of the initial investigation process, rather than questions from the public,” Nichols said Wednesday.
Carter and Washington County deputies went to Smith’s home on Saturday after an arrest warrant was issued for for Jackson, Smith’s former boyfriend. He was wanted in connection with a home invasion earlier that afternoon, according to Andrew Roth-Wells of the Attorney General’s Office.
Officials with Marine Patrol, the Washington County Sheriff’s office and the Attorney General’s Office have refused to detail the events leading to the shooting of Jackson and Smith — other than to say that an armed confrontation preceded it.
Smith and Jackson were both hospitalized. Smith is recovering from several gunshot wounds, according to her lawyer. Jackson is now facing kidnapping charges, according to Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Crabtree.
The attorney general’s office is investigating the shooting, believed to be the first in Maine to involve a Marine Patrol officer.
Smith, Jackson and law enforcement officers were not the only people in the duplex when the shooting occurred. Smith’s 26-year-old neighbor, Shanee Stevens, said she lives in the other half of the duplex and that the shooting took place inside her apartment.
Stevens said that around 8 p.m. Saturday she was celebrating her 2-year-old daughter’s birthday at home when she heard sirens. She said she looked out and saw Jackson drive up, followed by police cars.
Five minutes later, Smith burst through her door, asked her to look after her two young children, then left, Stevens said.
Several minutes later, Stevens heard shouting erupt upstairs. She started to head outside with the four children and two other adults who had been in her home. At the doorstep, a police officer told the group to go wait inside a car in the driveway, she said.
About two hours later an officer approached the car to tell the group they would be moved to “a secure location,” she said.
“Not even five minutes later is when we heard the gunshots,” Stevens said, “at least six to eight.”
Stevens and her daughter were not allowed back inside their blood-splattered home until Tuesday afternoon, she said.
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