PORTLAND (AP) – Two police officers shot and killed a motorist as they were dragged during an attempt by the victim to flee from a traffic stop, officials said Sunday.

Shots were fired after officers Nicholas Goodman and James Davison got entangled in the Ford Explorer as the motorist drove away, said Deputy Police Chief William Ridge.

The victim, Albert Kittrell, 48, of Portland, was taken to Maine Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead Saturday night, Ridge said.

The officers, who were treated and release from the hospital, were placed on administrative leave during an investigation.

Representatives from the attorney general’s office visited the scene Saturday night as part of an investigation into the officers’ use of deadly force, said David Loughran, spokesman for the Attorney General Steven Rowe.

The incident began as a routine traffic stop at 9:45 p.m. Saturday in which the officers determined that Kittrell’s license had been revoked as a habitual offender.

After stopping his Ford Explorer along St. John Street, Kittrell began to drive away and the officers attempted to stop him, Ridge said.

“During this time, several gunshots were fired,” Ridge said in a statement. “The vehicle was brought to a stop.”

Ridge didn’t explain how the officers became entangled in the sport utility vehicle.

He also didn’t say how many shots were fired or whether one or both officers fired their guns during the incident.

AP-ES-05-04-08 1431EDT

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