LAMOINE, Maine — The suspect in an early-morning double homicide in Lamoine is also dead after being shot by police Tuesday morning.
Leon R. Tilden, 27, of Lamoine was shot by Detective Randall Keaton of the Maine State Police Tactical Team after a more than six-hour manhunt near Tilden’s Bobolink Lane home in Lamoine. He was taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he was declared dead at about 11:30 a.m.
Police say Tilden shot and killed his father, Robert Tilden, 50, and his uncle, Russell Pinkham, also 50, at the Tilden family home in Lamoine. Police did not release any information regarding a motive for the shooting.
According to Lt. Col. Raymond Bessette of the Maine State Police, Leon Tilden’s mother, Lori, and brother, Benjamin, were in the home when Tilden allegedly fatally shot the two men.
Lt. Chris Coleman of the Maine State Police Major Crime Unit said Lori Tilden called 911 around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday to report the shootings.
Two deputies from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene and discovered the bodies of Pinkham and the senior Tilden.
“Both were deceased of gunshot wounds,” Bessette told reporters around 1 p.m. The deputies evacuated the remaining family members and called the Maine State Police, beginning a manhunt that lasted about six-and-a-half hours.
Around 10 a.m., members of the Maine State Police Tactical Team encountered Tilden near the family home. The suspect was armed, Bessette said, when Keaton shot him. Police are not releasing any details about the encounter, including whether Tilden fired at police before he was shot.
A LifeFlight helicopter arrived at the scene around 10:30 a.m. and airlifted Tilden to the Bangor hospital, where he was declared dead around 11:30 a.m.
“Our hearts go out to the surviving members of the family,” Bessette said.
Keaton is an eight-year veteran of the state tactical team. Following standard procedure, he will be placed on paid administrative leave while the attorney general’s office investigates his use of deadly force.
State police were aided in their manhunt by the Maine Warden Service, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, and the state police’s crisis negotiation team and K-9 units.
The state’s Major Crime Unit will investigate the initial double homicide, Coleman said. Police were not able to begin their investigation until the scene was secure.
The incident and manhunt shut down Mud Creek Road Tuesday morning, and the road was still closed as of 2 p.m.
Schools in Lamoine and Ellsworth were on lockdown until shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
Stu Marckoon, administrative assistant to the board of selectmen in Lamoine and the assistant fire chief, told the BDN that the town office temporarily closed Tuesday morning while members of Tilden’s family received crisis counseling at the office.
Tilden’s family left the town office shortly after state police said Tilden had been shot by police, Marckoon said.
As residents woke up Tuesday and started getting ready for work, sirens from police vehicles could be heard in the distance as a number of law enforcement agencies sent officers to assist in the manhunt. Both ends of Mud Creek Road were blocked off to everyone except for local residents as police continued to search for Tilden.
According to the Maine Bureau of Identification, no matches for Tilden are in the bureau’s criminal history database.
Information published during the past decade in the Bangor Daily News indicates that Tilden had been found guilty of roughly half-a-dozen minor offenses in Ellsworth District Court, dating back to 2004. Those offenses include criminal mischief, consumption of alcohol by a minor, and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and without proof of financial responsibility. Tilden had been fined a total of $1,100 for those offenses, according to court records.
Many Ellsworth-area residents were wondering Tuesday morning how another fatal shooting could have happened in Lamoine, which has 1,600 residents, in less than a year.
“This is certainly an anomaly of the way of life in Lamoine,” Marckoon said.
In March, four men were shot in an early-morning confrontation outside of house on Route 184.
Lawrence “Randy” Sinclair, 32, of Ellsworth, died in that shooting. Torrey Garland, 34, and Joshua McKinney, 25, both of Ellsworth, suffered gunshot wounds but have since recovered.
Michael Carter, 30, who lived at the house where the shooting occurred, is being held without bailat Hancock County Jail on charges of murder, elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault and illegal possession of a firearm. Carter also was shot in the leg during the incident when Tacy Mullins, his girlfriend who lived with him at the home, tried to grab the gun away from him, police and witnesses have said. Carter also has recovered from his gunshot wound.
According to a police affidavit, the shooting in March was precipitated by a series of confrontational phone calls, primarily between Garland and Carter, over a paint job that Garland and McKinney recently had done on Carter’s truck.
At the Lamoine General Store, Assistant Manager Stacey Dannenberg said Tuesday morning that local residents have been rattled by the latest outbreak of violence in the small coastal town.
“It kind of makes you wonder what happened to the quietness here,” she said.
Watch bangordailynews.com for updates.