Police Fatally Shoot Suspect After 12-hour Standoff In Hiram

Apr 25, 2020

Police fatally shot a gunman after a nearly 12-hour standoff in Hiram, authorities said.

Reed Rickabaugh, 59, shot at police several times from inside his home on Tripptown Road during the standoff, said Stephen McCausland, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman. No police officers were injured.

Around 10:45 a.m. Saturday, Rickabaugh came out of the house and was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire by state police tactical team corporals G. J. Neagle and Paul Casey, he said. The two officers have been placed on administrative leave.

As is standard procedure whenever someone is shot and killed by an on-duty Maine police officer, the state Attorney General’s Office will investigate the shooting to determine whether the use of deadly force was justified, McCausland said.

Prior to the standoff, a deputy with the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office responded to Rickabaugh’s home on Thursday to investigate a report of gunshots from Rickabaugh’s home and a bullet striking a neighbor’s house. Rickabaugh would only speak to the deputy through a closed door, McCausland said.

On Friday night, two Oxford County deputies returned to Rickabaugh’s home to continue the investigation and Rickabaugh answered the door armed with a handgun. The deputies moved to a position of cover while ordering Rickabaugh to drop the gun, but he shot at the deputies, striking their vehicle, and went back inside his home, McCausland said.

State police crisis negotiation and tactical teams responded, at the request of the sheriff’s office, and tried throughout the night to contact Rickabaugh prior to the fatal exchange of gunfire Saturday morning.

Rickabaugh’s criminal history consists of a single drunken driving conviction in York County in 2013, according to the state Bureau of Identification.

Casey’s employment with Maine State Police dates to 2008. He was promoted to corporal in 2018, according to state employment records and the Maine State Police Facebook page.

Casey was involved in a 2018 standoff in Dixmont in which state police used a robot to detonate explosives and destroy the home of Michael Grendell, who survived the incident. Casey was not one of three members of the state police tactical team who shot Grendell during that standoff.

Casey was one of two officers — the other one being Dean Benson, a reserve officer with the Mexico Police Department — who shot and killed South Paris resident Steven Piirainen, 52, in a shootout in Mexico in August 2014.

The Attorney General’s office later cleared Casey and Benson in that shooting, saying the use of deadly force in Piirainen’s death was justified.

Information about Neagle’s employment history with Maine State Police, or how long he has served with the department’s tactical team, was unavailable Saturday.

Updated 5:59 p.m. April 25, 2020

This story appears through a media sharing agreement with Bangor Daily News.