A man who was allegedly threatening people with a knife was killed Wednesday evening in an armed confrontation with Augusta police.
Dustin J. Paradis, 34, of Augusta was allegedly threatening residents at a homeless shelter at 155 Hospital St. around 6 p.m., Deputy Chief Kevin D. Lully of the Augusta Police Department said Thursday morning.
Paradis lived at the shelter and injured another resident before officers got there, WGME reported.
When Sgt. Chris Blodgett and Officer Sabastian Guptill arrived at the scene, an “armed altercation” ensued, and the officers shot at Paradis, who died during the confrontation, according to Lully and a spokesperson for the Maine attorney general’s office.
People who knew Paradis said he was autistic, WGME reported.
“I don’t condone his actions at all,” former neighbor Brittany White told the station. “I don’t think that they were right at all, but I feel like if there was somebody in the police force that could identify an autistic person, they would know to handle it differently.”
“We do actually have a mental health worker who works with us. He was working that night,” Augusta Police Chief Jared Mills told the station. “He did not have time to get to that response. It was that immediate and that grave of a situation.”
Mills didn’t know if the officers had tasers, had time to use them, or how many shots were fired, WGME reported.
The Maine medical examiner’s office was scheduled to conduct an autopsy on Paradis on Thursday, and no official cause of death was immediately available, a spokesperson for the Maine medical examiner’s office said.
Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave while the attorney general’s office investigates the shooting, as is standard procedure in the state.
No additional information was immediately available.