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Gorham officer cleared in deadly 2019 shooting, report says

The Maine Attorney General's office cleared Gorham police officer Dean Hannon in a fatal 2019 shooting.

GORHAM, Maine — A Gorham police officer's use of deadly force in May 2019 was found justified by the Office of the Maine Attorney General. A report from the attorney general, dated Oct. 21, concluded officer Dean Hannon acted, "in defense of himself and others at the time he used deadly force." 

On May 31, 2019, Hannon shot and killed Kyle Needham, 32, of Standish after the suspect tried to escape police in a truck, authorities said. 

The report stated when Hannon shot Needham, he reasonably believed the suspect was driving his truck in a way that would kill or injure other officers and people nearby. 

Needham ignored commands to stop and instead tried to flee without regard for anyone he might injure, authorities said. The report stated video from a police cruiser camera showed Needham backed his truck up, and the passenger door struck an officer identified as Sgt. Nathan Therriault, knocking him down. 

When Hannon lost sight of Therriault, he "reasonably believed" the sergeant was at risk of serious harm or death, the report stated. Therriault had been standing in Needham's only path of escape. 

In addition to this, at the time of the shooting, the Gorham Village Shopping Mall nearby was full of other drivers and pedestrians who were at risk due to aggressive driving from Needham, according to the report. 

Needham's cause of death was determined to be a single gunshot wound to the chest and abdomen, the report stated. It also said a toxicology report found Needham's blood had high levels of methamphetamine. 

To read the full attorney general's report, click here

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