Monday, December 9, 2013
WEST PARIS — The state trooper who shot a West Paris man Saturday evening was involved in another shooting five years ago, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine State Police.
McCausland said that Trooper Jason Wing has been placed on administrative leave with pay after shooting James Reynolds, 18, on Roy Road in West Paris at 6:45 p.m. Saturday.
Placing an officer on administrative leave is standard procedure following all shootings. The investigation into the shooting has been turned over to the Maine Attorney General's Office.
The AG's Office found that Wing was legally justified in his use of deadly force when he fired his rifle into a suspect's truck on June 28, 2008.
In the 2008 shooting, Wing fired at 51-year-old Lawrence Lapoint of Mexico, after Lapoint began driving his truck toward police, according to published reports at the time. Police were trying to arrest Lapoint after he allegedly threatened to kill his domestic partner.
Wing fired three shots into the truck, at which point Lapoint pulled over. Lapoint was not injured.
Meanwhile, Reynolds was listed in critical condition Sunday at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, where he was taken after being shot several times by Wing, McCausland said.
McCausland released few details about the shooting, which took place around 6:45 p.m. Saturday.
Wing shot Reynolds when he was investigating a report casting suspicion on a man along Roy Road. Reynolds was armed with a hunting rifle, but McCausland could not say why Reynolds was walking along the road with a gun or why Wing fired at Reynolds.
He said the Attorney General's Office is investigating the incident, and the final report of the shooting would be released when it is complete in about two months.
Wing has been a Maine State Trooper since 2008, said McCausland.
Roy Road is a private dirt road so heavily pitted by potholes it is almost impassable. A Roy Road resident declined to speak Sunday about the incident, saying she was afraid for her personal safety.
Customers and staff at a nearby Big Apple store, who declined to identify themselves, said Reynolds' mother, Julie Reynolds, frequented the store, but they didn't know much about James Reynolds. Julie Reynolds lives on Route 219 just a short way from the shooting scene.
Residents of West Paris said Sunday they saw ambulances, fire trucks and state police cruisers speeding down Route 26 and onto Route 219, which leads to Roy Road, on Saturday. West Paris, an Oxford County town with a population of 1,800, is about 10 miles west of Paris.
Some said they had heard that Reynolds had been shot in the arm, the leg and the head and was in a medically induced coma.
In 2008, Wing suffered a head injury and multiple bruises after his cruiser hit a tree in Waterford. He was responding to a report of a large fight that had broken out at a Fryeburg campground.
At the time, McCausland said that Wing's cruiser was demolished. McCausland said the trooper apparently lost control of his cruiser.
Wing is a 2003 Lewiston High School graduate who served four years with the U.S. Marine Corps. His service included two combat tours in Iraq.