December 1, 2011

Investigators continue to work out details of double-shooting incident

By Doug Harlow
Staff Writer

DOVER-FOXCROFT -- Police said they are still working out why Michael Curtis shot and killed his wife's former husband Tuesday morning before he was fatally shot by a state trooper.

Curtis, 46, of Sangerville, a dispatcher for the Piscataquis County Sheriff's Department, was shot once in the torso by State Trooper Jon Brown after a confrontation at the Piscataquis Valley Fairgrounds, attorney general spokeswoman Brenda Kielty said.

Police said Curtis shot and killed Udo Schneider, 53, also of Sangerville, about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Hilltop Manor nursing home. Schneider, who was employed at the nursing home as a maintenance worker, was shot multiple times.

An autopsy on Schneider was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said Curtis had been married to his wife, Margaret, for about three years. She previously had been married to Schneider for more than a dozen years and the couple had two teenage children together, he said.

"On the motive, we're still working on that," McCausland said Wednesday. "There are a number of interviews we are conducting and I am sensing that will take the rest of the week. The autopsy will determine how many times he was struck. What sparked the violence is something we're looking into."

McCausland said it is a two-part investigation. Maine State Police are conducting the homicide investigation into Schneider's death. The Attorney General's Office is investigating Curtis' shooting because it involved a police officer.

Kielty said the attorney general's investigation will determine if the use of deadly force in the performance of the trooper's duties was reasonable in the shooting of Curtis.

Brown, who joined the State Police in 2008, has been placed on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure, McCausland said.

Curtis' shooting death was the third officer-involved shooting death in Maine in November. A fourth shooting by police in Lewiston Nov. 8 resulted in gunshot wounds but was not fatal, according to Kielty.

Doug Harlow -- 612-2367


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