MADISON — A Madison man shot and killed his wife and their 25-year-old son, then fatally shot a neighbor and wounded a brother-in-law before being shot to death by police Wednesday morning in what authorities are calling an “extreme case of domestic violence.”

Carroll Tuttle Jr. killed Lori Hayden, their son, Dustin Tuttle, and neighbor Michael Spaulding, all of Madison, and wounded Harvey Austin, said Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland at a media briefing Wednesday afternoon near the shooting scene.

The incident was among the state’s deadliest since November 2015, when three people were shot and killed in Oakland.

“This is an extreme case of domestic violence that has taken place here in Madison,” he said, adding that police are focused on finding out “what set the gunman off. We don’t have that answer and we hope to get it.”

Lori Hayden

Hayden and her son were shot in their home at 316 Russell Road, and Spaulding was shot at his home at 299 Russell Road, McCausland said. Austin was shot outside 316 Russell Road.

“Carroll Tuttle shot everyone. Carroll Tuttle was responsible for this morning’s violence from start to finish,” McCausland said.

None of the victims was armed, and Hayden and Tuttle were not estranged, he said.

Police were not sure why Austin was at the scene.

The shootings occurred just before a 911 emergency call at 7:37 a.m. Wednesday, McCausland said.

Dustin Tuttle

“Our task now is to find out exactly what happened and why. There’s a number of different scenes to contend with,” he said.

Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said three deputies – Chief Deputy James Ross; his son, Detective Michael Ross; and Deputy Joseph Jackson – were involved in shooting Carroll Tuttle after they confronted him in his driveway.

Authorities declined to say what kind of gun Tuttle used, how many shots he fired or how many shots deputies fired.

“They confronted Mr. Tuttle this morning. There was some shots exchanged,” Lancaster said. “I have total confidence in the performance of my deputies.”

VICTIM WAS SELECTWOMAN’S DAUGHTER

Lancaster said the Maine Attorney General’s Office is investigating the officer-involved shooting, as is protocol in Maine. The deputies have been put on paid administrative leave pending the investigation. The state Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting autopsies on the three victims and the shooter.

Hayden, 52, was the daughter of Skowhegan Selectwoman Darla Pickett, a former Morning Sentinel reporter.

“I only know my child is gone,” Pickett said in a brief phone call Wednesday afternoon. “I’m just brokenhearted right now. I can’t … talk. I just can’t talk. I’m sorry.”

Austin, 57, was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for treatment of gunshot wounds that McCausland said were not considered life-threatening. The hospital did not have him listed as a patient Wednesday night. He is married to Hayden’s sister, Trisha Austin, who is Skowhegan’s finance and human resources director.

Tweeted by WCSH-TV

Lancaster said Tuttle shot his wife and son, left the scene and then returned in his pickup truck and went to Spaulding’s home and shot his 57-year-old neighbor. Lancaster said the deputies who arrived at the scene “discovered that three people had been shot to death at different locations along the Russell Road in Madison.”

The two homes where the shootings occurred are about 4 miles from the center of town in Madison, a Somerset County community of about 4,800 residents. The homes are about 2½ miles from downtown Skowhegan, which has a population of about 9,000.

A trooper with the Maine State Police turns vehicles around on Russell Road at the town line of Skowhegan and Madison on Wednesday as investigators work on the scene of a deadly shooting. Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

CRIMINAL HISTORY, CONFRONTATION

Carroll Tuttle, 51, had a record of misdemeanor infractions stretching from 1987 to 2004, according to a statewide criminal records check. The misdemeanor charges include criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and assault.

Wayne Parlin has lived on Russell Road, across from Hayden and Carroll Tuttle, for 17 years. He said the couple had lived at 316 Russell Road for about 20 years.

Parlin called Carroll Tuttle “a bully.” He recalled finding a piece of clothing in the road that belonged to Dustin Tuttle. When he returned it to their home, Hayden answered the door.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for Maine State Police, speaks with reporters about deadly shootings on Russell Road at the town line of Skowhegan and Madison on Wednesday. Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

A few days later, Carroll Tuttle confronted Parlin and threatened him, warning him to never come to his home when his wife was there alone, Parlin said. He said Tuttle grabbed him by the throat and pushed him against a wall in Tuttle’s garage.

“He was very jealous of his wife,” Parlin said.

His neighbors “were partying” and setting off fireworks on the night of July 4, Parlin said.

His mother, Shirley Parlin, lives next to her son on Russell Road.

She said, “I heard fireworks, but it’s not unusual for them. They like that kind of stuff.”

Shirley Parlin, who has lived on Russell Road for 11 years, thinks that Spaulding, their neighbor, might have attended the Fourth of July celebration.

Skowhegan police closed Russell Road to traffic at the Madison town line. That blockade was expected to remain into the night Wednesday, and McCausland said investigators would be at the scene all day “and into the night.”

BIG SHOCK FOR A SMALL TOWN

Kim Morse of Embden was stopped by state police Wednesday morning on Russell Road.

“I know people on this road. I don’t want it to be anybody I know – I don’t want it to be anyone, but nobody I know,” Morse said. “It’s shocking. This is a small town.”

Near the Russell Road blockade, Reginald Woodman sat on the rear bumper of his Toyota pickup in the shade of a tree in his yard, watching all the traffic turning in his driveway.

“Ain’t much I can do about it,” he said. “Don’t want any more excitement.”

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Colin Ellis and Portland Press Herald Staff Writer Dennis Hoey contributed reporting.