AUGUSTA — Two Oxford County deputies were justified in the fatal shooting of a Canton man in October in front of the Rumford Police Department building, according to investigators.

The Office of the Maine Attorney General concluded its probe into the shooting that killed Sean B. Dyment, 23, who witnesses said brandished a rifle in front of law enforcement officers on the night of Oct. 30, 2023.

The investigation cleared Sheriff’s Deputy Mathew Steinort and Cpl. Joshua Aylward of any wrongdoing.

“When Deputy Steinort and Cpl. Aylward shot Sean Dyment, they reasonably believed Mr. Dyment was posing an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to the officers,” Attorney General Aaron Frey wrote in letter dated Thursday to Oxford County Sheriff Christopher Wainwright.

According to Frey’s letter, Dyment had threatened to kill Cpl. Josh Aylward, “did not respond to commands to drop the gun and, instead, pointed the gun in the direction of the officers. All the facts and circumstances point to the conclusion that Deputy Steinort and Cpl. Aylward acted in self-defense and the defense of others at the time they used deadly force.”

At 8:13 p.m. Oct. 30, 2023, a woman called 911 to report she was being followed by a vehicle driven by an unknown male, Frey’s letter said. The woman reported that she had honked at the vehicle and then it started following her closely. She was concerned because her young son was in the back seat. The dispatcher told her to drive to the Rumford Police Department where an officer would meet her.


The two deputies had been on patrol in that area and heard the radio call.

According to the attorney general, the deputies drove to the police station to assist Rumford Sgt. Donald Miller, who had planned to meet the woman caller at the station. When Aylward and Miller were meeting with the woman in front of the police station, Steinort arrived, followed closely by a vehicle. Aylward recognized Dyment as the driver of that following vehicle.

Dyment had pulled alongside Aylward’s vehicle earlier that night and said: “Bad things are happening tonight,” Frey wrote.

The letter said Miller instructed Steinort to block Dyment’s path with his vehicle to enable the woman to leave. Dyment slowly backed up his vehicle then stopped. He was yelling profanities, including threats to kill. At one point, he accelerated toward Steinort, then stopped. Dyment took the names of the officers.

Steinort heard Dyment say he was going to “F—ing kill you, Josh,” Frey wrote. Dyment told Steinort he had a gun, which Steinort told Aylward and said Dyment would use it. Steinort heard and saw “what he believed to be the racking of an AR-style weapon or long gun.” Aylward also saw what he “believed was the racking of an AR-style weapon.”

Steinort yelled to Dyment to drop the gun and began backing away, Frey wrote.

According to the letter, “Deputy Steinort then observed Mr. Dyment reach over and point the gun directly at Sgt. Miller and Cpl. Aylward.” That action was also witnessed by another officer who had arrived at the scene. “Deputy Steinort then fired his gun at Mr. Dyment. Cpl. Aylward then began to fire his gun at Mr. Dyment.”

Steinort later told investigators he used deadly force because Dyment had pointed his AR-style gun at Miller and Aylward. Steinort also had heard Dyment say he was going to kill Aylward, Frey wrote.

Aylward later told investigators he had used deadly force because he knew Dyment had a gun, had threatened to kill him and heard shots fired, the attorney general wrote.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.