PORTLAND, Maine — The friends of a local man who was fatally shot by a police officer Saturday morning said his death was “difficult” to see.
Chance David Baker, 22, was shot on the sidewalk outside a Subway sandwich shop on St. John Street, Assistant Chief Vern Malloch of the Portland Police Department said in a news release. Baker was taken by ambulance to Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he died.
Baker allegedly had brandished a rifle-style pellet gun in the parking lot of Union Station Plaza, near the Subway, screaming and pointing a gun at cars before he was fatally shot by Portland police Sgt. Nicholas Goodman, according to Malloch.
It was “really difficult to see someone so promising end so tragically,” friends of Baker said.
Baker moved to Portland from the Midwest about six years ago, according to his friends.
He was homeless and without a job, but was able create a comfortable life for himself.
“He got caught up in some bad stuff. Drugs and alcohol and all that and that obviously changed his perception of the world I guess,” said Erick Poulin, who was a friend of Baker’s.
Police had received 911 calls around 11 a.m. Saturday reporting that a man was walking through the parking lot of Union Station Plaza screaming and pointing a gun at cars. Malloch said that officers who responded heard conflicting reports that the man was armed with a shotgun, rifle, or BB gun.
“They found the man still brandishing the weapon in front of the Subway,” Malloch said. “He was shot on the sidewalk outside the door of the Subway.”
It was later determined that Baker had been armed with a rifle-style pellet gun with a wooden stock and scope, Malloch said.
Goodman, a 14-year veteran of the department, has been placed on administrative leave while the Maine attorney general’s office investigates the shooting, as is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings in the state.
Saturday’s shooting was the second time Goodman has used deadly force, Malloch said. On May 3, 2008, Goodman made a traffic stop and was reaching inside an SUV to arrest the driver when the vehicle started moving, dragging Goodman more than 300 feet. Albert Wayne Kittrell, 48, of Portland was shot and killed.
Goodman, who was a patrol officer at that time, was found to have been justified in the use of deadly force.
BDN writer Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.