February 24, 2020
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Lawsuits allege Biddeford police never asked landlord who killed 2 tenants if he had a gun

Contributed photo | BDN
Contributed photo | BDN
Derrick Thompson, 19, left, and 18-year-old Alivia Welch. Thompson and Welch were murdered by their landlord, James Pak, in 2012.

Court filings show a Maine landlord who killed two tenants in 2012 had threatened to shoot one in front of a police officer, but officers never asked if he had a gun.

Two lawsuits pending in federal court allege the officers were negligent for failing to detain James Pak at his Biddeford home in late December 2012. The officers said Pak was admonished and that he said he wouldn’t shoot. They also said the tenant wasn’t fearful of Pak.

The Portland Press Herald reports officers who were called to the scene determined the matter was a civil landlord-tenant dispute over snow removal and parking.

Pak entered the rental unit after police left and fatally shot the tenants, 19-year-old Derrick Thompson and his 18-year-old girlfriend, Alivia Welch, and wounded Susan Johnson, Thompson’s mother. Pak pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and one count of aggravated attempted murder in February 2016. He was sentenced to life in prison.

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