An East Machias man lost part of his arm as the result of being shot by police last month, according to lawyers who represent him and his ex-girlfriend, who was also shot. Jason Jackson was hit in the back as well as his left arm, the lawyers said.
Jackson, 34, reportedly told his lawyer that he had put down his own gun and was lying in Tiffany Smith’s lap when Marine Patrol Officer Matt Carter fired the shots that maimed him and wounded Smith. The Dec. 9 shooting occurred in Smith’s Machiasport duplex.
“[Jason] tells me he was essentially lying in Tiffany’s lap when he was shot,” said Lewiston-based attorney Timothy Kenlan. “He had put [his revolver] down,” before shots were fired, Kenlan said. Smith’s lawyer, Don Brown, said he was told the same thing by his client.
Jackson, a suspect in a home invasion earlier on Dec. 9, was “having a mental crisis,” Kenlan said.
About a half-hour before he was shot, Jackson called 911 from inside Smith’s duplex to ask for “crisis assistance,” Kenlan said. Police were already on the scene when Jackson made the call.
“I think that virtually everything Jason did that day was a cry for help, literally and figuratively,” Kenlan said.
The lawyers’ account leaves unanswered the question of why Carter fired his weapon.
Carter declined to say. He also would not describe Jackson’s position when he was shot, citing the ongoing investigation by the Maine Attorney General’s Office, which probes every case of the use of deadly force by an officer. Carter has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard practice.
Jackson’s left arm was amputated above the elbow while he was in Eastern Maine Medical Center. He is now recovering from wounds to his back, ankle and arm in a rehabilitation facility, Kenlan said. Jackson has been charged with kidnapping and eluding an officer.
Like Jackson, Smith, 33, was hospitalized after being shot more than once, according to her lawyer, who would not specify the extent of Smith’s injuries. Smith is no longer in a hospital.
Police dispatches shed some light on the events leading up to the shooting. Police chased Jackson to the 33 Corn Hill Road duplex after a warrant was issued for his arrest for an East Machias home invasion that afternoon. Along with Carter, Washington County Sheriff’s deputies and Machias police responded arrived at the home around 8:30 p.m.
Smith’s neighbor, Shanee Stevens, said that from her side of the duplex she saw Jackson pull into the driveway pursued by cop cars and enter Smith’s home.
Police rushed Stevens, two other adults and four children, including two whose parents are Smith and Jackson, into a car parked outside the duplex.
About an hour later, shots were fired, according to dispatch logs.
The law enforcement agencies whose officers were at the site have refused requests for their incident reports. Jackson and Smith have declined to be interviewed.
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