Maine golf legend Dickie Browne thought he was going to die Friday after a burglar put a gun to his head, tied him up in the basement and ransacked his Vassalboro home, an incident that sparked a massive police response and shooting that ultimately left the burglar and another suspect dead.
Kadhar Bailey, 25, of Gardiner and Ambroshia Fagre, 18, of Oakland both died after the police-involved shooting, according to Tim Feeley, spokesman for the Maine Attorney General’s Office. Bailey died soon after the shooting, and Fagre was taken to the hospital in critical condition and died Saturday, according to police.
The shooting, prompted by a police investigation of burglaries, happened after Bailey rammed a Maine State Police cruiser while driving a truck. One of those burglaries occurred at the home of Browne, a Maine Golf Hall of Fame member, his son Taylor said in a phone interview Saturday.
Taylor Browne said his father was at home Friday afternoon when a man came to the door offering snow removal services. The elder Browne declined the offer and went back inside the house on Fairway Avenue, opposite Natanis Golf Course, which the Browne family owns and operates.
Dickie Browne, 57, then heard a noise in the garage and went to investigate. He found the man inside the garage and asked him what he was doing, said Taylor, 32.
“At that point the guy pulled a gun on him and took him into the home and tied him up and put him down in the basement,” Taylor Browne said. “It was some type of a handgun. He was tied with his arms around his back.”
He said the home was ransacked for about three hours. The man then took Dickie Browne’s pickup truck, a late model Toyota Tacoma, and sped away.
“He said the guy didn’t want him to look at him, so he tried to obey because he had a gun,” Taylor said. “He thought that the guy was going to just kill him. He was feeling very fortunate that he didn’t kill him.”
Taylor Browne, who works at Johnny’s Selected Seeds in Winslow, said his father is shaken and a little sore from being tied up in the basement, but otherwise is fine.
“I’m very happy that he’s OK and that they got the guy,” Taylor said. “He’s unharmed overall. It’s mostly a psychological thing to get over.”
Dickie Browne declined to be interviewed on Saturday.
He was inducted into the state’s Golf Hall of Fame in 2013. The Natanis Golf Course pro, Browne followed his father and two brothers – Jim and Bob – into the Hall of Fame. Jim and Bob Browne were inducted in 2008.
The shooting happened after police went to investigate a reported burglary shortly after 4 p.m. Friday and encountered a pickup truck. It was unclear Saturday who reported the burglary.
The driver – identified on Saturday as Bailey – intentionally rammed a Maine State Police cruiser, on Arnold Road, also known as Fire Road 22, in Vassalboro, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. Police summoned to the area were looking for a vehicle involved in reported daytime burglaries, one of which involved Dickie Browne. Arnold Road is off Webber Pond Road, near Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.
Bailey had ditched Browne’s truck after leaving the Browne residence and got into a different truck with Fagre, McCausland said. It was not immediately clear who owns that truck.
Bailey then was shot and killed by police about 5 p.m., and Fagre was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland in critical condition with a gunshot wound, according to McCausland. Feeley, of the attorney general’s office, said late Saturday afternoon that Fagre had died.
“Because this is an officer-involved shooting, a lot of the specifics will come out in the course of the attorney general’s investigation,” McCausland said in a phone interview Saturday. “They sent a team of investigators up to Vassalboro last night to begin that effort, and past practice shows it will be several weeks before many of the specifics of this case are released.”
The three officers involved were Lt. Scott Ireland and Trooper Jeff Parks, of the state police; and Vassalboro police Chief Mark Brown.
As is standard procedure, the officers were placed on administrative leave with pay. The officers involved were not injured.
“There were a number of police officers – state police, the Vassalboro police chief, the Kennebec sheriff’s department,” McCausland said Saturday. “There was a team of all of those three departments that were there after the initial reports of a suspicious vehicle and daytime burglaries.”
A criminal records check showed that Bailey had been convicted as a juvenile in 2009 of aggravated criminal mischief, a Class C felony, but sentencing information was unavailable.
Meanwhile, the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the burglaries.
Taylor Browne said the family is thankful that Dickie Browne was not injured, or worse.
“My dad is shaken but relaxing at a relative’s house,” Taylor Browne said in a Facebook post. “I got to see him and hug him and play cribbage, and I’ve never been so happy to see him. We are all so thankful he is alive.”
Correction: This story was updated at 5:29 p.m. on Feb. 11, 2017 to correct Ambroshia Fagre’s age.
Doug Harlow — 612-2367