Thomas A. Powell III, 31, of Old Town was fatally shot by Maine State Police Tuesday morning on French Island in Old Town.
The shooting occurred about 8:40 a.m. outside a home at 28 Bodwell St., Col. John Cote, head of the Maine State Police, said Tuesday afternoon. No police officers were injured.
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Cote said that Powell was wanted as a suspect in a burglary reported about 3 p.m. Monday in Surry. Powell allegedly stole a Honda Pilot SUV from the residence that later was located at his home on French Island.
The state police tactical team and negotiators were called to the home after Old Town police requested assistance around midnight when shots were fired from the home, he said.
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Tami Stokes, a resident of Bosworth Street that is adjacent to Bodwell Street on French Island, said that she woke up around midnight to the sound of gunshots in the neighborhood.
Officers made attempts to contact Powell about 2:30 a.m. using a public address system but got no response, McCausland said. About 8:30 a.m. Powell briefly appeared in a doorway and fired shots from a rifle at officers before retreating back into the residence.
About 10 minutes later, Powell again came out of the home and an armed
confrontation resulted in Powell being shot and killed by State Police, he said.
Powell’s criminal history goes back to when he was 16 and charged with two burglaries in Hancock County, according to information from the Maine State Bureau of Identification.
As an adult, Powell was convicted of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, assaulting a police officer, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants, domestic violence assault and trafficking in prison contraband.
Because some of those crimes were felonies, Powell was prohibited from possessing firearms.
Most of those crimes were committed in Hancock County but Powell also had criminal convictions in Washington and Penobscot counties. His longest prison term was 6 ½ years on the drug trafficking and the assault on a police officer charges.
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Powell was a participant in the Hancock County Adult Drug Court program when he assaulted the officer so was ordered to serve consecutive sentences of three years on the drug charge and 3 ½ years for the assault.
Powell was last arrested March 29, 2018, in Hancock County on several misdemeanor charges of criminal mischief. He pleaded guilty and served 30 days in jail.
Maine State Trooper Garret Booth and Detective Scott Duff have been placed on administrative leave while the Maine attorney general’s office investigates the shooting, Cote said. That is standard procedure when an officer fires his/her weapon.
French Island is a small river community between downtown Old Town and Milford. Most of the police presence had left the island by 2 p.m., although some stayed to continue investigating the area into the early evening.
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This is the second fatal police shooting this year, according to a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office. Jason Gora, 44, of Auburn was shot and killed Feb. 2 in Minot following a chase and confrontation with police.