ELLSWORTH, Maine — A state police trooper who shot a man during an armed standoff in June has been justified in utilizing deadly force, the Maine attorney general’s office announced Wednesday.
Trooper Scott Duff shot 50-year old Jeffrey Barnard of Ellsworth after an overnight standoff in which gunfire was exchanged, according to Tim Feeley, spokesman for the attorney general’s office.
Barnard fired several rounds from a rifle and threw a Molotov cocktail at officers outside his camper during a 20-hour standoff.
“Attorney General Janet T. Mills has concluded that at the time Trooper Duff shot Mr. Barnard, Trooper Duff reasonably believed that unlawful deadly force was imminently threatened against him and other persons within range of the weapon brandished by Mr. Barnard,” Feeley’s statement said. “It was reasonable for Trooper Duff to believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect himself and the others in the area from deadly force.”
Barnard’s criminal record is extensive and includes convictions for assaulting a police officer and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to the statement, and he is facing federal charges relating to his possessing of a firearm during the Ellsworth incident.
The trouble with Barnard that led to the standoff started when a landowner whose property Barnard’s camper was on complained that keys to a tractor had been stolen, and when police arrived, Barnard refused to come out of the trailer.
“At one point, he displayed a 5-gallon can he said was full of gas and threatened to blow the place up,” Ellsworth police Lt. Harold Page said in a past Bangor Daily News story.
Duff is a member of the state police’s tactical team and is a seven-year veteran of the force.