A Maine game warden acted in self-defense when he shot at a Gouldsboro man during a 2017 standoff, the Maine Attorney General’s office says.
Warden Christopher Sargent fired three semi-automatic rifle rounds at 32-year-old Alan Walton after Walton allegedly pointed a rifle at Sargent and another officer June 27, 2017. Walton also threatened the officers, saying, “If you come in here, you will all be leaving in body bags,” according to a report issued Friday by Maine Attorney General Aaron M. Frey.
Sargent “reasonably believed that Mr. Walton was imminently threatening to use unlawful deadly force against [him] and other law enforcement officials in the area,” the report states. “Warden Sargent had been advised at the outset that Mr. Walton had previously made statements about suicide by police.”
Sargent missed and Walton surrendered to police about 40 minutes later, according to the report. Investigators found the Browning 30.06 bolt-action rifle with a chambered round in the residence’s upstairs bedroom and a Browning 12-gauge pump shotgun found in another room.
Walton was involved in a domestic violence incident and had allegedly stolen a truck and successfully eluded police during a high-speed pursuit the day before the standoff, the report states.
“All the facts and circumstances point to the conclusion that Warden Sargent acted in self-defense and in defense of third parties,” according to the report.
Walton pleaded guilty to eluding a police officer, reckless conduct, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, illegal possession of a firearm and several lesser charges, in connection with the standoff and other incidents.
He was sentenced June 8, 2018, to 24 months incarceration with all but 17 months suspended and two years of probation.