RUMFORD — A local woman who was shot twice by a police officer Tuesday evening remained in serious condition Wednesday, according to a spokesperson at the Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Jessica Byrn-Francisco, 25, called a crisis hotline late Tuesday afternoon and threatened to commit suicide, police Chief Stacy Carter said.

Carter said the crisis center contacted police, and Sgt. Tracey Higley and another officer were sent to 77 Maine Ave. to look into it.

Upon arriving at the apartment, Carter said Byrn-Francisco, who was in the back of the three-story apartment complex, rushed Higley and tried to attack him with a knife.

Higley shot Byrn-Francisco twice, Carter said.

Byrn-Francisco was taken by ambulance to Rumford Hospital and later was transferred by LifeFlight medical helicopter to CMMC.

Higley was the only officer who fired his gun, Carter said.

Higley has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure, as the Maine Attorney General’s Office investigates the shooting, Carter said.

A special assistant to the Attorney General’s Office declined to talk about the investigation.

“The Attorney General’s Office investigation into the officer-involved shooting in Rumford on March 18, 2014, is ongoing and it is our policy not to comment on any aspect of the investigation until the report is complete, special assistant Tim Feeley said.

Higley began his career with the Rumford Police Department as a reserve officer in 1994. He served as sergeant from November 1999 to January 2006, and again from September 2008 to the present. He served as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education instructor from 1998 to 2010.

Higley was named the Maine Association of Police Officer of the Year in 2013, and received a letter of recognition from the Maine State Police in 2012 for his work in solving a double homicide that occurred in 2009.

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