Federal jury determines Augusta Police Officer did not use excessive force in 2015 shooting

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A federal jury has determined an Augusta Police Officer did not use excessive force when she shot a man three times in 2015.

Jason Begin filed a civil lawsuit against Officer Laura Drouin.

The jury in Bangor deliberated for about an hour Friday morning before reaching its decision.

Drouin says, "I never doubted a jury of Mainers would return this verdict."

It's been four years since Officer Drouin pulled that trigger.T

Begin was shot three times by Drouin at the former Maine General Medical Facility after he pulled out a knife and slashed both of his arms.

Although Begin's attorneys say he was only trying to harm himself and didn't threaten anyone else, the jury saw it differently.

Bard Pattershall, Begin's attorney says, "The jury heard all the evidence and they felt like our client did pose an immediate risk of harm to the officer in this case and that she did not use excessive force."

Begin was audibly upset after the verdict was returned.

After being shot he incurred over $300,000 in medical bills and lost motor function in his left arm.

Pattershall says, "He's had a hard life as it is. So, I think he's been through worse than this and he's going to be alright. He's certainly disappointed though."

Officer Drouin says she's relieved, "It's been a long four years."

Edward Benjamin, attorney for Drouin says, "It's an important day for her. I think it's an important day for law enforcement in Maine. This is the first police shooting case, civil case, that I'm aware of in more than 30 years and so it's a rare thing when we get these cases that go to trial and go to verdict. Thankfully its a rare thing when police officers in Maine have to use deadly force on people."

Drouin says she is still proud to be a police officer. When asked if it's rewarding she says, "Yes. It is. Sometimes. Sometimes you end up with a week in court."