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HERMON, Maine — Maine State Police have identified the two men who were shot — one of them fatally — during a home invasion Thursday morning in Hermon.
Dead is Robert Dellairo, 30, of Bangor, state police spokesman Stephen McCausland said late Thursday night. McCausland said an autopsy is scheduled Friday at the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta to determine Dellairo’s cause of death.
Wounded was Philip McIntyre, 19, also of Bangor. McCausland said McIntyre was treated and released from a Bangor hospital and has been charged by the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department in connection with the incident, which occurred about 9 a.m. at Duran Apartments at 1835 Outer Hammond St. in Hermon.
McIntyre was being held at Penobscot County Jail late Thursday night on a charge of burglary, a jail official confirmed.
A team of State Police detectives are now working with Penobscot County sheriff’s deputies to determine the circumstances of the shooting, McCausland said.
He also said that two women were with Dellairo and McIntyre during the incident and that they have been interviewed.
There were two men in the apartment in which the shootings took place and one of them is believed to have fired the shots, he said.
The names of the women and the two men inside the apartment were being withheld late Thursday night.
The investigation into the shootings was initiated by the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department but because of the death, which reportedly occurred about 3:15 p.m., the case was turned over to the Criminal Investigation Division of the Maine State Police, Penobscot County Chief Deputy Troy Morton announced Thursday afternoon at a news conference at the Penobscot County Jail.
During the news conference, Morton said detectives were looking at crime scenes in Hermon as well as in Bangor.
Earlier in the day, police said that three had broken into an apartment on Outer Hammond Street and that two of them were shot in the legs by a person who lives there.
“We have three people in custody as of right now and we are still in the process of investigating,” Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Mike Burgess said Thursday morning.
“Two people were home at the time of the invasion,” Burgess said, adding that one of them had a weapon. “They did feel that they had to protect themselves and that’s where the gunshots came into play.”
During the news conference at the jail, Morton declined to comment on whether the people who broke into the apartment were armed.
The victims of the home invasion said they did not know the people who broke into their residence, according to Burgess.
The shooting victims were initially taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor. One of them, a male, was brought there in a car driven by a woman. Shortly afterward, one of the shooting victims was transferred to Eastern Maine Medical Center under police escort, Bangor police Sgt. Garry Higgins said.
The woman driver and two friends, a man and a woman, stood in front of St. Joseph Hospital and were interviewed by Maine State Police. The man could be heard saying, “We’re sitting here and he could be dying.”
The woman’s vehicle, a blue Honda Accord, was parked in the hospital’s back parking lot and had what appeared to be two bullet holes just below the back license plate.
“It’s going to be awhile. They’ve got my car and everything,” the woman could be heard saying while speaking on a cellphone.
“It’s his blood that is all across the car,” she later told investigators.
Police in Hermon also went across the street to 1834 Outer Hammond St. to deal with a reported burglary. Burgess said it was not clear whether that burglary was related to the home invasion.
Higgins and Bangor police Officer Dan Sanborn were at St. Joseph Hospital to assist state police with the investigation.
Thursday’s home invasion in Hermon is the latest in a series that authorities in Maine — including Penobsot County — have dealt with in recent months.
In some of the cases, homeowners used firearms as a means of self-defense, Morton noted, adding that the most recent such incident occurred in Eddington.
The incident he was referring to happened in early January, when a local transient originally from Florida broke into a home on Riverside Drive and was shot in the foot by the homeowner. The intruder was arrested on a charge of felony burglary.
The transient, who was hiding upstairs, was discovered after the wife returned from grocery shopping and went to get her husband to help bring them in. The homeowner, who has a concealed weapons permit, used a 9 mm handgun to shoot the intruder.
“We can’t attribute them to anything in particular,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s a sign of the times.”
“A person has the right to protect themselves but you have to be able to articulate why you feel [threatened],” Morton noted during Thursday’s news conference. “Just simply to say someone was there isn’t always enough [to justify the use of force]. You have to be able to say why you know you were threatened.”
When it comes to deciding whether to use deadly force, there are few clear-cut answers, he noted.
“We can’t think within the mind of a person who is concerned about defending themselves,” he said. “Law enforcement uses that every day in our jobs.
“It could be as simple as the size of a person, [as in] they’re a much larger person than I,” he said. “They may have a club. They may have a bat they may be acting psychotic. Those are things that a person could use to make the decision about what type of force they think is necessary.”
Morton also was asked whether it matters if the intruder or attacker is armed.
“Not necessarily,” he said. “We can’t think with the mind of a person who is concerned about defending themselves. There are a lot of things that play into those factors. Law enforcement does that every day. That’s what’s in our use of force continuum.
“But those are the same parameters that a citizen can used to decide what necessary force is needed to protect themselves and their family,” he said.
Dellairo was arrested last month, after a landlord in the process of evicting him asked Bangor police to accompany him while he walked through the apartment.
During that walk through, police found Dellairo with diverted Suboxone strips and arrested him on a charge of felony unlawful possession of scheduled drugs and for violating his bail conditions. Suboxone is used to treat opioid addiction. Had he been convicted of the felony drug charge, he would have faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the felony drug charge and a fine of up to $20,000.
Dellairo also has several convictions on his record, according to the Bangor Daily News archives. He was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, driving to endanger and criminal mischief in separate 2011 incidents. He was convicted in October 2010 of assault, violating his conditions of release and burglary.
In May of 2006, he and his then-girlfriend, Danielle Bellefleur, were indicted on one count each of burglary by Penobscot County grand jury.
The indictments stemmed from the Brewer Police Department’s March 2006 search of a room at a Holyoke Street boarding house that Dellairo and Bellefleur were living in. The search, and a subsequent search of their car, reportedly led to the discovery of a stolen credit card and thousands of dollars worth of stolen property, including electronics.
In August 2010, McIntyre, whose address was listed as Corinth, was fined $400 for assault, according to the archives.
Watch bangordailynews.com for updates.