A York County sheriff’s deputy was justified in using deadly force when he shot a psychotic man in Lyman Jan. 15, according to a review by the Maine Attorney General’s Office.

Andrew Landry was charging toward Sgt. Kyle Kassa, a knife in each hand, his arms spinning like a windmill, when Kassa fired four shots from his service weapon at close range. Three of the bullets hit Landry and he died.

A review by Attorney General William Schneider found that Kassa and another deputy who was there, Sgt. David Chauvette, were threatened by deadly force and that Kassa’s only response was to use deadly force.

“This conclusion is based on an extensive scene investigation, interviews with numerous
individuals, review of medical records, and all other evidence made available from any source,” the report stated.

Following the shooting, family members described Landry as a gifted musician who had not had a history of mental illness. Shannon O’Brien, Landry’s aunt, was there at the time of the shooting and did not fault police for their actions.

The report describes how family members had called police earlier in the day after Landry’s mother reported him missing from his grandmother’s house in Sanford where he had been living. While police were at the grandmother’s house, Landry’s grandmother returned with him saying she had found him walking in the winter cold in Alfred without a shirt or shoes. Landry said he had not slept or eaten for several days, the report said.

Landry declined to go to the hospital and since he did not pose an immediate threat to himself, he was allowed to stay at the house.

That night, family members say Landry’s behavior became more bizarre and deputies were summoned to the home of Landry’s aunt on Faucher Lane in Lyman. Landry has said he he was in “The Matrix” and thought his family members and others were robots and wouldn’t bleed if stabbed. He unplugged appliances and said voices were coming from the electrical outlets.

When the deputies arrived, Landry met them at the door, then walked to the kitchen where he armed himself with two knives with eight-inch blades. Chauvette tried to immobilize Landry with a Taser, the report said. Landry stiffened up momentarily, then charged at Kassa swinging the knives, the report says, leading Kassa to shoot.

Even after firing the shots, Kassa continued to ward off attacks by Landry, before Chauvette shoved him away and he collapsed, the report said. The report does not attempt to explain why the Taser was not effective.