UPDATE: Officer involved shooting in Augusta under investigation
Police responded to an incident Wednesday night at the Bread of Life Ministries Shelter in Augusta
AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Police say a man armed with a knife was shot and killed by officers in Augusta Wednesday night.
According to Augusta Police Chief Jared Mills, at around 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, officers received a call that Dustin Paradis, 34, of Augusta, was threatening people at Bread of Life Ministries. When they arrived at the homeless shelter on Hospital Street, they found another man with non-life threatening injuries who had to be taken to the hospital.
“An armed confrontation ensued. At that point, Officer Sebastian Guptill and Sgt. Chris Blodget had that armed confrontation with this individual. As a result, unfortunately, 34-year-old Dustin Paradis of Augusta passed away,” Mills said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Mills says neither officer was hurt. Blodgett and Guptill have been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure.
Parardis’ sister, Gina Paradis, told our media partner, WMTW, her brother had autism.
“I am sure there are going to be comments coming from every direction about how he deserved it. He didn’t. Nobody else in that situation does either,” Gina said.
Mills says Augusta Police officers are highly-trained for all types of encounters, but this incident escalated quickly.
“We do have a mental health worker that works with us. He was working that night,” Mills said. “I can tell you that by the time the call came in and by the time this incident was over, he did not have time to get to that response. It was that immediate and that grave of a situation.”
Augusta Police call the situation “heartbreaking.”
Mills says it fits a recent, troubling pattern he’s noticed.
“Just this year alone, you want to talk about the pandemic or the change in what’s happening with everything going on. Summertime, call it [from] July on, our calls have increased exponentially, and the danger’s even worse now. I don’t know what the cause is, but I can tell you that’s really true. We’re seeing more dangerous calls at this time.”
Bread of Life Ministries released a statement saying:
“Bread of Life Ministries asks for support as our community tries to heal from the incident last night. We work to create home at our shelters, and we appreciate privacy at the shelters for this reason. We pray for all those involved.
Thank you to our staff, and the understanding of the individuals we serve. Thank you to the Augusta Police Department, the Attorney General’s Office and the Maine State Police for their quick response and professionalism during this time.
Bread of Life Ministries serves the community for food and housing needs, please contact our office for needs in this manner. We want to reassure our community that our services will continue uninterrupted.”
The Maine Attorney General’s Office is now investigating the incident.
Copyright 2021 WABI. All rights reserved.