The Maine Attorney General’s Office ruled Friday that two Cumberland County sheriff’s deputies who shot and killed a man at a mobile home in Naples last November were acting in self-defense.
Norman Strobel, 59, was shot by Sgt. Andrew Feeney and Deputy Derek Brill in the early morning hours of Nov. 27 after Strobel exchanged gunfire with the deputies, who had been seeking him in connection with a shooting late the night before at a camp in Casco owned by Strobel’s ex-girlfriend, Sandra Goulet.
Strobel had a protection order issued against him on her behalf.
Goulet’s daughter’s boyfriend, 32-year-old Jason Almeida of Middleton, Rhode Island, suffered four gunshot wounds in that incident, state police said at the time.
After learning Strobel might be at the home of his roommate, 55-year-old Richard Diekema, Feeney went to the residence and saw a pickup matching the description of one seen at the Casco shooting scene.
After several unsuccessful efforts to get a response from anyone inside, Feeney and Brill looked through a window and saw Diekema inside sitting in a recliner with what appeared to be blood on his face and an eye injury.
When the deputies entered to check on Diekema, they were immediately met by Strobel, who was armed with a handgun and refused multiple commands to drop the gun, investigators from the attorney general’s office said.
When Strobel raised the gun and pointed it toward the deputies, they simultaneously fired their weapons at Strobel, the investigators said. The shots were fatal.
Diekema was found deceased, having been shot in the face. Later investigation determined that Strobel shot him earlier that night.
The attorney general’s office since 1990 has been in charge of investigating such cases and has never found a shooting by police unjustified.
Two requirements must be met for a police officer to legally use deadly force in self-defense or in the defense of another.
The officer must have an actual belief that person who was shot was otherwise going to kill or hurt the officer or someone else and the belief must be a reasonable one.
“The Office of the Attorney General has concluded that at the time Sergeant Feeney and Deputy Brill shot Mr. Strobel, each of them reasonably believed that unlawful deadly force was imminently threatened against them. It was reasonable for each officer to believe it necessary to use deadly force to protect himself and each other from deadly force,” the attorney general’s office said Friday in announcing its conclusions.
The conclusions, it said, “are based on an extensive forensic investigation, on interviews with numerous individuals, and on a thorough review of all evidence made available from any source. All facts point to the conclusion that the officers in this case acted in self-defense.”