AUGUSTA (AP) – Two York County deputies were justified in using deadly force against a New Hampshire man who led police on a chase and fired shots from his pickup truck, Maine Attorney General Steven Rowe said Friday.

Dale S. Pelletier, 33, of Milton, N.H., died in the shootout on March 7 after his pickup truck was rammed by a Sgt. David Dumond’s cruiser in Acton, just 400 feet from the New Hampshire border.

Both Dumond, 39, and Deputy Steven K. Thistlewood, 29, returned fire when Pelletier began shooting after the truck skidded into a snowbank, Rowe said.

Pelletier died from two bullet wounds to the head.

The deputies met the legal requirement for using deadly force after being fired upon, Rowe said. The investigation also showed that Dumond was justified in ramming the truck and firing his gun earlier in the chase.

Pelletier had driven around Milton and Acton, firing a handgun at two passing motorists, one of whom was struck in the arm.

The York County Sheriff’s Department and Maine State Police tried twice to stop Pelletier with spike mats, according to the report.

Pelletier pointed his gun at a trooper who had partially deployed a spike mat and later fired at Dumond, who had set up spike mats at another location, the report said. Dumond returned fire but did not hit Pelletier.

Dumond made the decision to ram the pickup after seeing Pelletier fire at a second deputy, who was with a school bus alongside the road, the report said.

Pelletier could not fully open his door because of the snowbank but managed to fire through the opening at the officers before they returned fire, it said.

Pelletier’s parents have said their son suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was paranoid about the government.

After the shooting, Dumond and Thistlewood were placed on administrative leave while the attorney general conducted an investigation, which is required by state law in all police shootings.

AP-ES-04-18-03 1615EDT



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