December 20, 2013

Report: Maine officer acted in self-defense in fatal shooting

A 78-year-old man in Penobscot County was killed by an East Millinocket police officer during an armed confrontation.

The Associated Press

GRINDSTONE – The Maine attorney general’s office says an East Millinocket police officer acted in self-defense when he fatally shot a man during an armed confrontation.

Robert Bellfleur of Grindstone was fatally shot the night of Aug. 17 by Officer Seth Burnes.

Tim Feeley, special assistant in the Maine Attorney General’s office, said Friday that Burnes and a Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office deputy were called by Bellfleur’s neighbors who reported that Bellfleur was harassing them.

Feeley said the 78-year-old Bellfleur was ordered back to his home, but then returned with a shotgun and engaged in an armed confrontation with the officers. That’s when Burnes shot Bellfleur, who died at the scene.

Feeley said it was reasonable for Burnes to believe he had to use deadly force to protect himself and other officers at the scene.

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