OAKFIELD, Maine — A Maine State Police sergeant shot a man during an armed confrontation in Oakfield on Friday as officers were trying to arrest the suspect in an ongoing case, according to police.
The wounded man, 54-year-old John Corneil of Smyrna, was taken to Houlton Regional Hospital to be treated. No one else was injured.
Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, confirmed Friday afternoon that the shooting happened just after 11 a.m. near the Oakfield Thriftway.
He said three state troopers went to the store to arrest Corneil. An armed confrontation between the man and Sgt. Chad Fuller ensued outside the store, and the suspect was shot, McCausland said in a news release Friday afternoon. No other details about the shooting or why Corneil was wanted were released.
Under standard procedure, Fuller, a 20-year veteran of the state police has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending an investigation by the state attorney general’s office.
State police also sent investigators to the scene.
U.S. Border Patrol Agents blocked off access to Ridge Road leading to the Oakfield Thriftway shortly after the shooting occurred. They were diverting traffic around the road Friday afternoon. Down the road leading to the store, blue lights were visible surrounding the scene.
Corneil was no stranger to law enforcement. According to a criminal history record obtained from the State Bureau of Identification, he was arrested in June 2008 after refusing to submit to a warrant for his arrest. No information was provided about the reasons for the warrant, but the record indicates Corneil was sentenced to 48 hours in jail and fined $250.
He was sentenced in March 1999 to two years in prison with all but 45 days suspended, on a charge of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, for firing at a state police officer who tried to serve him with an arrest warrant in late August 1998.
According to archives from the Bangor Daily News, Corneil barricaded himself in his Merrill house on Route 212 for four hours when the trooper tried to serve him with the warrant. That warrant stemmed from his failure to appear in court on charges connected to a police chase earlier that summer when Corneil was charged with assault on an officer, according to the BDN archives.
Jon Porter, principal at Southern Aroostook Community School, which is located about three miles away, said Friday afternoon that police notified the school, but no lockdown procedures were initiated.
“By the time we heard about it, it was over,” Porter said. “Law enforcement notifies us if they need us to lock down. We have our standard procedures of keeping outside doors locked and any visitor needs to buzz to get in the building.”
Writer Joseph Cyr of the Houlton Pioneer Times contributed to this report.