SOMERVILLE – A deputy used deadly force Monday evening after a man stabbed another Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department deputy, officials reported.
Deputy Kenneth Hatch shot one man to death after the individual stabbed his partner, Deputy Robert Emerson, during a check on a Somerville man about 6 p.m., police said.
The pair had gone to the man’s Valley Road residence to check on his well-being at around 6 p.m. Monday evening, Deputy Chief Daniel Bradford of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department said early Tuesday morning.
“The officers went to a well-being check on the gentleman,” Bradford said. “Yesterday he was alleged to have set a neighbor’s woodpile on fire … the neighbors were concerned.”
The man began “making the kinds of statements that made the officers question his mental condition,” Bradford said. Upon viewing the man, the officers found his hands to be bloody. They didn’t know why his hands were that way, Bradford said. The officers entered the home to take the man into protective custody when the he ran up a flight of stairs.
Emerson chased the man up the stairs. Then the man turned around and stabbed the deputy once in the right shoulder in an area not protected by his bulletproof vest, Bradford said. The blade broke off after the first stab, but was not lodged in the officer’s shoulder.
The man continued to beat Emerson over the head with the handle of the knife until Hatch opened fire, Bradford said. It wasn’t clear how many shots were fired from the officer’s .45 caliber handgun as he stood near the base of the stairs.
Officials had taken the man to the Veterans Affairs Medical and Regional Office Center at Togus on a previous occasion for his own well-being, Bradford said. The name of the man is being held pending the notification of two brothers located out of state.
The man was previously arrested and charged with terrorizing in October of 1999, violation of bail in August of 1993, burglary in March of 1993, criminal trespass in September of 1992, and disorderly conduct in June of 1992, Bradford said. It was unknown if he had been convicted of those charges or how much jail time he had served, the officer added.
Witnesses reported seeing emergency vehicles go to the scene about 6:30.
“There was a call to check on an individual in Lincoln County … and an officer was stabbed,” Sheridan Bond, a member of the Jefferson Fire Department, said Monday night. “The other officer shot the individual and he died.”
Emerson was treated and released from an area hospital Monday night with sutures in his shoulder, Bradford said.
The home was believed to belong to Mike Buchanan, Bond said. Police officials would not confirm the identity of the owner of the house.
The individual who attacked Emerson was dead at the scene, police said.
The Attorney General’s Office was investigating the shooting with the aid of Maine State Police and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department detectives, Stephen McCausland, spokesperson for the Maine State Police said.
It is routine procedure for the Attorney General’s Office to investigate cases involving the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers. An investigation by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department will also be made, Bradford said, as is standard in situations requiring the use of deadly force.