Sex offenders slain

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A Canadian wanted by police in connection with the Easter Sunday slayings of two sex offenders in Maine shot himself to death Sunday night after he was cornered near Boston’s South Station.

Stephen A. Marshall, 20, shot himself in the head with a .45-caliber handgun after officers stopped the bus he was on and climbed aboard about 7:25 p.m., said David Procopio, a spokesman for the Suffolk County, Mass., district attorney.

After hearing a gunshot, officers found Marshall in a window seat 13 rows behind the bus driver.

Marshall had suffered a massive head wound, Procopio said. He was taken to Boston Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:24 p.m.

Law enforcement officials in Maine and Canada had been searching for Marshall when word of the Boston shooting came in, said Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for Maine’s Department of Public Safety.

The Canadian was suspected of gunning down two sex offenders in their homes in Corinth and Milo, Maine, early Easter morning.

Maine State Police had alerted authorities in Boston that Marshall might be headed their way. The notification came after police found bullets linked to Marshall and the two fatal shootings in a bus station bathroom, McCausland said. Police believed Marshall was heading for Boston, but didn’t say what prompted that hunch.

Maine State Police had issued an alert for Marshall of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, on Sunday afternoon. He was described as a “person of interest” and considered to be “armed and dangerous.”

The shooting victims were identified as Joseph L. Gray, 57, of 233 West Main St. in Milo, and William Elliott, 24, of 953 Main St. in Corinth.

A woman who reportedly witnessed the Corinth shooting gave detectives a license plate number and a description of the truck in which the gunman fled the scene. Bangor police found a 2002 Toyota Tundra pickup bearing that license plate at about 1 p.m. Sunday behind Sawyer Arena in Hayford Park in Bangor.

The mud-splattered silver truck was parked next to a trash container behind the skating rink on Thirteenth Street in Bangor. It is registered to Ralph A. Marshall of Houlton, Stephen’s father.

McCausland said Stephen Marshall had traveled to Houlton for the first time to meet his father. When police contacted the elder Marshall, he said he hadn’t realized that his son or truck were missing.

The truck was taken to the state police Crime Lab in Augusta for processing after detectives photographed it and went through two green trash bags in the trash container. A police dog and its handler searched the woods behind the arena, then returned to a patrol car to wait for the state police tow truck.

Gray was shot about 3 a.m., and Elliott was killed approximately five hours later, Maine State Police Lt. Jackie Theriault said at a news conference Sunday afternoon at the Corinth Snowmobile Club.

The state police set up a command post at the club, located less than half a mile north of Elliott’s trailer on Route 15.

Theriault said Gray and Elliott were registered sex offenders and that as a precaution the Maine Sex Offender Registry, which is maintained by the state police and contains photos, names and addresses of more than 2,200 Maine registered sex offenders, had been taken offline. The state police official did not elaborate.

Elliott was convicted in 2002 in 3rd District Court in Newport of sexual abuse of a minor and sentenced to four months in jail. As a result of that misdemeanor conviction, he was ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Information on Gray’s criminal history was not available Sunday.

The father of the Corinth victim said Sunday night in a phone interview with the Bangor Daily News that his son was awakened about 8 that morning by a knock on the door.

“He went to the door, opened it up, and the guy just started shooting,” said Wayne Elliott, 61, of Charleston. “He kept shooting after he fell to the floor.”

The elder Elliott said that his son’s girlfriend witnessed the shooting and was able to describe the shooter to police.

“I loved him very much and he loved me, and we always told each other that,” Wayne Elliott said. “I saw him day before yesterday, and yesterday talked to him on the phone. I had no idea anybody hated him this much. He had all kinds of friends and was a hard worker.”

William Elliott operated a small junkyard from his rented residence, his father said. The trailer, located in a gully on Route 15 in Corinth, was surrounded Sunday by tires, a school bus, appliances and other discarded items.

In Milo, 80 miles from the junkyard, yellow police tape blocked off the long driveway to Gray’s neat white, ranch-style home nestled in pine trees. A white mailbox nearby, decorated with bright, red cardinals, had the number 233 stamped on it in black.

After Marshall shot himself Sunday night, Procopio said no one else on the Vermont Bus Lines bus was injured, but five passengers who were splattered with blood were taken to hospitals to be examined.

The bus was on a ramp leading onto Interstate 90, a short distance from its destination, Boston’s South Station.

Paramedics found a second handgun on Marshall when they treated him for his injuries.

Besides state police, Bangor police, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the sheriff’s departments in Penobscot and Piscataquis counties were assisting in the investigation.

Police described Marshall as 5-feet 10-inches tall, weighing 130 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

The Associated Press and Sun Journal copy editor Doug Fletcher contributed to this report.

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