Maine AG says Rumford officer shot by warden after confrontation in woods

RUMFORD — A small town and its police force were rocked by tragedy Thursday when they lost one of their own.

Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Wardens stop to speak with a Maine State Police mobile command unit approaching the scene of a shooting on Cedar Lane in Rumford on Thursday. The death of Eric Richard, 46, an administrative officer with the Rumford Police Department, is being investigated by the office of the Maine Attorney General.

Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

A van from the Medical Examiner's office approaches a bend in Cedar Lane in Rumford that will take them to Eric Richard's home Thursday.

Eric Richard, 46, an administrative officer with the Rumford Police Department, was shot three times by a Maine Warden and killed Thursday morning.

Authorities had spent the night trying to find him in the woods behind his home on Cedar Lane.

Maine wardens and Troopers Kyle Tilsley and Adam Fillebrown, with his tracking dog, were searching for Richard in the woods around 10 a.m. on Thursday according to a release issued by Maine Attorney General William J. Schneider’s office.

An armed confrontation occurred between Richard and Warden Jeremy Judd, 34, according to the release.

Richard died of gunshot wounds, fired by Judd.

The manner of death — whether it was accidental, suicidal or homicidal — is to be determined by the state Medical Examiner’s office.

During the day, the end of Cedar Lane was closed to traffic as the Attorney General’s Office conducted an investigation. Game wardens were seen darting around the woods on ATVs. The Maine State Police mobile command unit, the Medical Examiner's office and the Oxford County Sheriff's Office were also on scene.

Richard was well-known in the community for conducting the police department's Child Identification Program at public events.

He won a malpractice lawsuit in 2005 against Dr. Eric Omsberg, a Waterville neurosurgeon. Richard’s suit maintained Omsberg had severed a critical vein during an operation, leaving Richard with a permanently swollen and painful leg.

Richard, a former patrolman, was required to work as a dispatcher after the surgery because he had to be on blood thinners. Richard's lawyer at the time, Jodi Nofsinger, said if he sustained an injury, he could bleed to death.

Richard lived with his wife Tamera at the end of Cedar Lane. The couple grew up together in Peru and attended Rumford High School.

Tamera is an employee at Rumford Hospital and has two sons, Steve Smith and Nicholas Smith.

Nicholas is a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps and works on an anti-terrorism team. He is deployed overseas. Tamera had set up a Facebook event planning a homecoming party for her son next week.

In support of Richard's wife, friends Thursday changed their Facebook profile pictures to a blue candle.

ecox@sunjournal.com


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Comments

RONALD RIML's picture

Proper attire.....

Don't go out in the woods with a gun unless you are properly attired......

 's picture

Right, it's sounding like

Right, it's sounding like possibly he shot himself... I guess the whole story will come out eventually.... still, very sad!

What matters is

Did the Warden shoot him or not. If he did why did he shoot to kill and not to wound. If Eric was going through something he could have been help. That's what wounding him could have brought about; HELPING HIM ! Now no help can be given. This shooting and past shootings in the River Valley by law enforcement should not have happened. Are they being trained to kill instead of disabling. ?????????????

Darlene V. Thomas's picture

Rumford shooting......

Mr Di Conzo, unless you are, or have been a member of law enforcement, whether it be a police officer, game warden, or otherwise, unless you have been in a situation, where your life could be in eminent danger, I don't see how you could ask such an obvious crazy question. The officers are trained to serve and PROTECT! Sometimes that PROTECT, refers to themselves...These officers get up, everyday, and head out to work, not knowing if they will come home. This was a tragic, tragic situation, and no one knows what Eric was thinking when he went into those woods...no one except Eric. Thoughts and prayers go out to all the families involved in the horrible tragedy.

Nick Gagnon's picture

Law Enforcement are trained

Law Enforcement are trained to shoot to eliminate a threat which means that you do not shoot to wound. In a gun fight, if you try to aim at a small target to wound, your odds of hitting the target are very slim. When you miss, you give the other person too much time to shoot you instead. Gun fights are under stress and if you do not eliminate a threat, the threat will eliminate you so you have to decide if you want to go home to your family that day or not as bullets are coming at you. It is impossible for a person to put themselves in that position without actually being in that position so you may never understand.

 's picture

Why don't you take the time

Why don't you take the time to walk in the shoes of law enforcement and maybe then you would have a better idea of what these situations bring. You and I don't need to know what happened. Let the authorities sort this out.

 's picture

Training

LEO's are trained to stop the threat. Unfortunately, they cannot assume that if they just wound the individual then that individual will just immediately drop their weapon and then give up. It is tragic that it had to end like this, and I feel deeply for everyone involved in this horrific event.

 's picture

He was shot by the warden,

He was shot by the warden, rumor is he was suicidal, and when the confrontation was taking place both men were armed. Sad story, prayers to the family.

 's picture

In Response to Judy O'Neil

The article has been updated since my original post at 5:46 P.M. It now states (where-as it didn't before) that he was shot by a Maine warden.

 's picture

In response to Jaclyn Wilt

It does not say he was shot by the warden. Read the article again. The following is quoted from the article;

"The manner of death — whether it was accidental, suicidal or homicidal — is to be determined by the Medical Examiner’s Office."

 's picture

@ Mr. Coburn - when you click

@ Mr. Coburn - when you click the link to the article at the top, the first line on the next page says that he was shot dead by the maine warden.

Rob Merrill's picture

Also from the article, " An

Also from the article, " An armed confrontation occurred between Richard and Warden Jeremy Judd,". This leads me to believe he was shot by the Warden. I hope this is a preliminary article and more info will come later.

 's picture

??

So was he shot by the Warden? Why were they looking for him? Lots of questions here!

SCOTT THISTLE's picture
staff

updates

This story will be updated with additional information within the next few hours. This is largely the information the Attorney General's office has supplied. We have had a reporter out at the scene most of the day and will be updating with some additional details as we have them. Thanks for your interest in this story.

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