2011-11-30 / Maine

Police kill gunman after fatal shooting


JIM CURTIS, left, brother to Michael Curtis, is comforted by a friend in front of the Piscataquis Valley Fair Grounds in Dover- Foxcroft on Tuesday. Michael Curtis, a sheriff’s department dispatcher, walked into a nursing home and fatally shot a maintenance worker before fleeing to the nearby fairgrounds, where he was shot and killed by a state trooper, officials said. 
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS JIM CURTIS, left, brother to Michael Curtis, is comforted by a friend in front of the Piscataquis Valley Fair Grounds in Dover- Foxcroft on Tuesday. Michael Curtis, a sheriff’s department dispatcher, walked into a nursing home and fatally shot a maintenance worker before fleeing to the nearby fairgrounds, where he was shot and killed by a state trooper, officials said. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS DOVER-FOXCROFT (AP) — A sheriff ’s department dispatcher walked into a nursing home and fatally shot a maintenance worker Tuesday morning before fleeing to nearby fairgrounds, where he was shot and killed by a state trooper, officials said.

The first shooting took place at about 9:30 a.m., when 46- year-old Michael Curtis, a dispatcher for the Piscataquis County Sheriff ’s Department, went to the Hilltop Manor nursing home in this small town 35 miles northwest of Bangor. There, he approached 53-year-old Udo Schneider and confirmed his identity before pulling out a pistol and shooting him repeatedly in front of several people, according to a contractor who was working on the nursing home and declined to give his name.

Curtis left in his pickup truck and was tracked to the nearby Piscataquis Valley Fair Grounds, where he was shot by Trooper Jon Brown after a standoff, officials said. He later died at a local hospital.

“Both Curtis and Schneider were from Sangerville and knew each other, but investigators are still trying to determine what prompted the shooting,” said state police spokesman Steve McCausland.

The Bangor Daily News, citing divorce records printed in the paper, reported that Curtis’ wife had been married to Schneider for 16 years and that they had two children together.

Curtis’ mother, Crystal Saunders, said her son had been married to Schneider’s ex-wife for about four years, but she wasn’t aware of any bad blood between her son and Schneider and couldn’t image what would set him off. Curtis was a sheriff ’s deputy and had worked for the department for more than a decade, Saunders told The Associated Press.

“I don’t know nothing at all,” she said from her home in Lincoln. “My son kept everything to himself, more or less.”

The attorney general’s office was leading the investigation into Curtis’ death because he was shot by a law enforcement officer. Brown, a four-year veteran, has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure after a police shooting.

Investigators were still sorting out details Tuesday afternoon. Police officers were at the fairgrounds at the time of the shooting, but Brenda Kielty, spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office, said she didn’t know how many shots Brown fired at Curtis or whether Curtis fired at Brown.

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