Sgt. Nicholas Goodman, the officer who shot and killed 22-year-old Chance David Baker on Saturday, used deadly force once before in his 14-year career with the Portland Police Department, on a spring night when he feared for his life.

In that May 2008 incident, which was ruled justifiable homicide by then-Attorney General Steven Rowe just two months later, Goodman shot a 48-year-old man who was trying to evade arrest by driving away – with Goodman hanging half in and half out of the front window of the car.

The Portland man who died that day was Albert Wayne Kittrell, who had recently been arrested on a charge of operating a vehicle after suspension of his license. When Goodman stopped him for suspected vehicle violations, Kittrell gave him his brother’s name. But Goodman knew both brothers and was dubious. After he checked the information in his cruiser and found that Kittrell was in violation of bail conditions, he went back to the car and told Kittrell he was arresting him.

The scene, which played out over the course of 13 minutes, escalated when Kittrell lunged for the ignition. Goodman reached into the car to stop him and as the Ford Explorer accelerated, the officer clung to it. A second officer had flung himself in the passenger side and was trying to get his foot on the brake.

Goodman fired three times with his .45-caliber service revolver, hitting Kittrell twice in the left flank. He, like Baker, was later pronounced dead at Maine Medical Center.

Rowe’s ruling said that from Goodman’s perspective, deadly force was necessary “to protect himself from death or serious bodily injury.” Goodman’s leather boots were scraped and gouged after he was dragged 280 feet and he was treated at a hospital for injuries to his knees, hands, and face, “all the result of being dragged as well as falling from the moving vehicle.”

Assistant Chief Vern Malloch of the Portland police said in a statement Sunday that Goodman was the department’s Police Officer of the Year in 2015 and has received 22 unit citations as well as two awards for bravery.

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Nicholas Goodman, right, a member of the Special Reaction Team, carries a child after a standoff at the Riverton Apartments  in Portland in 2011. Goodman shot and killed Chance David Baker, who was armed, in a shopping center parking lot Saturday. Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

Goodman has an associate degree in criminal justice and is an instructor at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro. He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in October 2016 after serving as a narcotics investigator assigned to the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency.

He is a member of the police department’s Special Reaction Team. He and other officers were called to Union Station Plaza about 11:10 a.m. Saturday in response to an emergency call saying a man was walking around the parking lot of the strip mall, screaming and pointing a gun at cars. Baker had just bought the rifle-style pellet gun – with a wooden stock and a scope – from a business in the strip mall, Coastal Trading & Pawn.

Witnesses described Baker as intoxicated, but store employees said he did not appear intoxicated. They were unaware of what was happening until more than a dozen police patrol cruisers descended on the parking lot.

Portland police officer Blake Cunningham guards the crime scene during an investigation of a police-involved shooting Saturday at a strip mall on St. John Street. Staff photo by Ben McCanna

Goodman was placed on administrative leave and once again, as is standard procedure, the shooting will be reviewed by the Maine Attorney General’s Office. The Portland Police Department is also conducting a separate internal investigation, which will focus on whether the actions of the officer were within department policy, and if any training or policy modifications are necessary.

“Sgt. Goodman is a highly decorated officer who has never been the subject of discipline,” Malloch said.

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