December 18, 2017
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Police: Gunman killed wife, son, neighbor before officers fatally shot him

By Danielle McLean, BDN staff ,
and Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Updated:

MADISON, Maine — A Madison man was fatally shot by police on Wednesday after he killed his wife, their adult son and a neighbor, authorities said.

Four people died and a fifth was injured early Wednesday morning in Madison in what Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, described as “an extreme case of domestic violence.”

After fatally shooting his wife, Lori Hayden, 52, and their 25-year-old son, Dustin Tuttle, at 316 Russell Road, Carroll Tuttle Jr., 51, went down the road and gunned down Michael Spaulding, 57, McCausland said Wednesday afternoon at a news conference near the scene.

Tuttle also shot and wounded Harvey Austin, 57, of Skowhegan outside of Tuttle’s house, McCausland said. Austin, who is related to Hayden, according to McCausland, was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center where he was to undergo surgery. He is expected to survive.

Chief Deputy James Ross, his son Detective Michael Ross and Deputy Joseph Jackson all fired at Tuttle, according to McCausland. It was unclear who killed him, he said. All three law enforcement officers have been placed on paid administrative leave while the Maine Attorney General’s Office investigates the shooting.

McCausland said the bodies would be taken to the medical examiner’s office in Augusta. Autopsies were expected to be completed by the end of the week.

It was Maine’s deadliest shooting spree since Nov. 4, 2015, when Herman DeRico, 42, of Oakland killed three people before turning the gun on himself.

The shootings were reported just after 7:30 a.m. at “several locations” along Russell Road, McCausland said in a news release earlier in the day. McCausland said he has no information on a motive.

Spaulding’s son, 21-year-old Michael Spaulding of Gorham, told the Bangor Daily News that his father was killed because Tuttle “thought my dad was having an affair with his wife.” He learned his father had been killed about 7:45 a.m. when he “received a hysterical phone call from my father’s girlfriend who’s visiting from South Carolina,” he said.

“She said she was cooking breakfast and Tuttle came in and just shot my dad,” he said.

The younger Spaulding said his parents divorced when he was a toddler but he had remained close to his father.

Spaulding said his father had been watching fireworks the night before he was killed.

“It doesn’t seem real still,” Spaulding said of his father’s death. “I keep waiting for my dad to call me, but I know he won’t.”

Deputies from the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office found Carroll Tuttle outside his home, which is where they shot and killed him, McCausland said. None of the officers was injured.

Investigators from the Attorney General’s Office have been called in to review the officers’ shooting of the suspect, as is standard practice when a police officer in Maine uses deadly force. The AG has never found a fatal shooting by police to be unjustified.

Hayden was the daughter of Skowhegan Selectwoman Darla Pickett, The Morning Sentinel reported. The selectwoman is a former reporter for the newspaper.

“I only know my child is gone,” she told the paper. “I’m just broken hearted right now I can’t … talk. I just can’t talk. I’m sorry.”

The gunman is the ninth person shot and killed by police this year, twice the number of fatal police shooting in 2015 and 2016 combined.

The initial 911 call came in about 7:37 a.m., according to the call log posted on the Somerset County Sheriff’s website. Ambulances were dispatched at 7:44 and 8:10 a.m. First responders from the Skowhegan and Madison fire departments were called out at 8:17 a.m.

Russell Road was closed to traffic while state police detectives investigate the shootings. McCausland said after the news conference that he expected the road to reopen about 9 p.m. Thursday.

The road is about four miles from the center of Madison, a community of about 4,800, and runs to Skowhegan, the county seat.

A man, who asked not to be identified and lives on Russell Road about a mile from where the shootings took place, was turned back Wednesday afternoon by police at their roadblock.

“It’s kind of scary because we don’t know details,” he said. “It’s nerve-wracking that it happens in your backyard.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.

BDN writer Nick McCrea contributed to this report.

Watch bangordailynews.com for updates.

 

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the date of the shootings.


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