Waterville man recovering at Boston hospital after accidentally shooting part of his face off

WATERVILLE — A 31-year-old man is recovering at a Boston hospital after accidentally shooting part of his face off with a rifle Wednesday night, according to police.

Dale Poulin of Waterville and two of his friends were exchanging hunting stories at a College Avenue apartment when the incident occurred, according to Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey.

At one point during the conversation, Poulin went outside to his pickup and brought the high-powered, .270-caliber rifle inside the residence, according to Massey. For reasons unknown to police, Poulin put the gun under his chin as he and his friends continued to drink alcohol and share stories.

Massey said Poulin thought the gun was not loaded when he pulled the trigger, and he never contemplated suicide. The bullet completely tore off the bottom of Poulin’s face, the chief said.

“It’s one of those things where you mix alcohol and weapons and start to do very unsafe things, and you end up with a tragedy,” Massey said.

When police entered the residence, they encountered Poulin sitting in a chair with his entire face torn off below his nose, the chief said.

Poulin’s friends attempted to control the massive bleeding until police and rescue workers could arrive, Massey said. Poulin was somewhat responsive to officer’s questions, and all signs indicate that the shooting was an accident.

Poulin was initially transported to MaineGeneral Hospital before being airlifted by LifeFlight to Maine Medical Center in Portland, Massey said. He was later brought to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where Massey said Poulin is awaiting surgery.

“It looks like he’s going to survive, but he’s going to face some recovery,” said Massey.

Massey said it’s unlikely charges will be filed in connection with the incident, but it serves as a stark reminder of the danger of mixing alcohol and weapons. When Poulin initially arrived at the address, he brought in a bottle of whiskey.

“There’s always a chance something will go very wrong and someone will get hurt,” said Massey.

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.



Bob White's picture

I don't remember of hearing

I don't remember of hearing anything like this till President Obama was President.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

We remember when Bush was President

6,750 U.S. service members have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom...on a similarity of stupid behavior based on not having any smarts.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture

Simply amazing and mind boggling:

"the gun under his chin as he and his friends continued to drink alcohol and share stories."

Three adults in a room, intoxicated, with guns and tales as topic and this fool puts the gun under his chin and the other two don't have the common sense or scruples to say 'Hey, dude, bad idea and is that loaded?"

It is safe to bet they probably drink and drive with the same type of responsibility!

FRANK EARLEY's picture

I can only wonder........

I can only wonder, if, in years to come, this will be one of those hunting stories swapped around the fire. I also wonder what the story was that was being told that prompted him to go out to his truck, for the visual display????????????

RONALD RIML's picture

Wonder if the NRA will help him with his Mega Medical Bills??

They're not simply gonna let him take it on the chin, are they????

Eric  LeBlanc's picture

Wonder if Anheuser-Busch will help him with his Medical Bills?

Wonder if Anheuser-Busch will help him with his Medical Bills?

RONALD RIML's picture

Beer cans should work in this.......


Nice touch, Ron.

Nice touch, Ron.

Steve  Dosh's picture

. .Boston hospital after accidentally shooting part of his face

Mainers 18:45 hst ? Thursday
. . The bottom part ? Oh ! Okay then . We do hope and pray you get better Mr. Poulin . They can do magic with reconstructive surgery these days , especially at Walter Reed hospital in Bethesda MD
Happy early Veterans' Day weekend y'all
hth , Steve Dosh , former Togus VA. .helper


I guess he flunked that gun

I guess he flunked that gun safety course.

Noel Foss's picture


1. All guns are always loaded.
2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

He's lucky he survived to maybe learn his lesson.

JERRY ARIPEZ's picture


5. Booze and lead don't mix and can leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Noel Foss's picture


All over the room, even.

Jason Theriault's picture


“It looks like he’s going to survive, but he’s going to face some recovery,” said Massey.

Face some face recovery?

 's picture

Lol guess I'm not the only

Lol guess I'm not the only laughing at the choice of words

Steve  Dosh's picture

.. Mainers . . .uh .

.. Mainers . . .uh . .Fishing remains the best excuse i know of to go out and get rip roaring drunk . .just not in the spring . .on snow mobiles , sled necks :D /s Dr. Dosh , HI usa


Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...