Auburn officer shoots man after report of woman being held against her will, police say

Published: Sep. 27, 2021 at 11:59 AM EDT
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AUBURN, Maine (WMTW) - An Auburn police officer shot and killed a man after receiving a report of a woman being held against her will.

“I want to know who called and I want to know why they said I was a hostage. I was never a hostage,” said Brianna Reeve, who identified herself as the girlfriend of the man fatally shot.

Police responded to the Center Street Value Inn at about 10 a.m. Monday.

“Officers investigating the incident had to force their way into the room to find that the occupants had fled out a window. Sergeant Steven Gosselin encountered a male in the parking lot of the Value Inn,” said Auburn Police Chief Jason Moen said during an afternoon news conference.

Police said Gosselin tried to speak with Joseph Arbour, 36, of Bucksport, but he tried to run off.

Police said during the pursuit, there was an armed confrontation and Gosselin shot Arbour, who he died at the scene.

Reeve claims she had been living at the hotel with Arbour but stayed in a different room the night prior and hadn’t seen him for several hours.

“I was outside and I heard it. And I knew,” Reeve said, recalling the moment she heard gunshots.

Arbour was out on parole following an aggravated assault conviction out of Kennebec County.

The Maine Department of Corrections says he was released from their custody in 2019.

Reeve contends Arbour was protecting her following a recent dispute and called him a loving and caring person.

She says she can’t understand why deadly force was used.

“He just didn’t want to go to jail. He wanted to live his life,” Reeve said.

The Maine Attorney General’s Office is investigating the police shooting, which is standard procedure.

Gosselin, a 24-year veteran of the Auburn Police Department, was also placed on paid administrative leave, which is department policy while the investigation is ongoing.

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