January 1, 2013

Affidavit: Woman calls police as Biddeford couple slain

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

and Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

ALFRED — Susan Johnson was shot twice, in an arm and in the back, and was hiding behind a Christmas tree in her apartment in Biddeford on Saturday night when her landlord fatally shot her son and his girlfriend, police say.

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Derrick Thompson, left, and Alivia Welch

Facebook photo

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James Pak appears in York County Superior Court in Alfred Monday to face charges of fatally shooting Derrick Thompson, 19, and Alivia Welch, 18, who were his tenants. With Pak is his attorney Joel Vincent, right.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Staff Photographer

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MOMENTS AFTER a Biddeford police officer left the scene of a dispute between a landlord and his tenants Saturday evening, the landlord allegedly shot three occupants of the apartment, killing two of them. Here is a timeline of events provided by Biddeford police and court documents:

6:07 p.m.: A resident of 17 Sokokis Road, Apartment A, calls police to report harassment.

6:10 p.m.: Biddeford officers Edward Dexter and Jacob Wolterbeek are dispatched to the house.

6:11 p.m.: Derrick Thompson, a resident of the apartment, calls police and reports that his landlord is yelling at him and threatening him. The landlord, Jim Pak, lives in another section of the house

6:14 p.m.: Thompson calls again and reports that Pak is banging on the door and yelling at him.

6:18 p.m.: Officer Dexter arrives.

6:23 p.m.: Officer Wolterbeek arrives.

6:32 p.m.: Wolterbeek leaves.

6:51 p.m.: After talking with Pak and his tenants, Dexter leaves. He reports that it was a civil issue and the caller "did not feel threatened at any time."

6:54 p.m.: Thompson's mother, Susan Johnson, calls police and says she has been shot by Pak. Dexter and Wolterbeek return to the apartment.

7:02 p.m.: Pak's wife calls police to say that Pak is in their home with a handgun and threatening to kill himself.

7:08 p.m.: A Biddeford police negotiator, Sgt. Normand Allaire, is en route to the scene.

7:15 p.m.: Johnson's son Brayden, 6, is found hiding in the apartment and taken to a neighbor's house.

7:27 p.m.: Johnson is found hiding behind a Christmas tree in the apartment. She has been shot twice. Officer Dexter carries her to waiting ambulance.

9:58 p.m.: After negotiators get Pak to leave the house, Officer Scott Evans fires a Taser and Pak is taken into custody.

Johnson, who was left for dead, called police to report that she had been shot.

She made the call just minutes after a police officer left the apartment, apparently reassured that the landlord – James Pak – was not a threat to his tenants after a confrontation about a parking space at the home.

New details of the shootings emerged from police and court documents Monday as Pak appeared in York County Superior Court in Alfred to face two counts of murder.

Pak said nothing in court. He was not required to enter a plea. He is being held without bail in the York County Jail, pending a hearing to determine whether he can be held until his trial.

Murder carries a sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Although Maine State Police and jail officials list Pak's age as 74, his driver's license and prior police contacts list his age as 67. Authorities could not explain the discrepancy Monday.

The shootings occurred in an apartment that is part of Pak's house at 17 Sokokis Road.

Police say Pak had been drinking when he shot Johnson twice, then fired two shots each into Johnson's son, Derrick Thompson, 19, and his girlfriend, Alivia Welch, 18.

Thompson and Welch died of gunshot wounds to the chest, according to the state Medical Examiner's Office.

Johnson told police that she "heard Welch scream, 'Don't shoot, stop,'" then heard two more gunshots, says an affidavit filed by state police Detective Corey Pike in support of Pak's arrest.

When taken into custody hours later, Pak told police that he had killed three people, apparently unaware that Johnson was alive, according to the affidavit. He said he "spared" the life of Johnson's other son, 6-year-old Brayden, who was found unharmed in the apartment.

Johnson told police that Pak used a silver-colored handgun with a white handle. Police found a Smith & Wesson revolver in a downstairs bathroom, with the hammer still cocked and red-brown stains on it, the affidavit says. They also found a rifle and a shotgun in a basement crawl space.

The affidavit says that more than two hours after Pak's arrest, his blood alcohol content was 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal limit for driving.

Derrick Thompson apparently first called Biddeford police at 6:07 p.m. Saturday to report that Pak was banging on his door, yelling and threatening him. Johnson recorded the confrontation on her cellphone before police arrived.

Officers Edward Dexter and Jacob Wolterbeek responded to the call and determined that it was a civil dispute, apparently over late rent and the number of cars parked in the driveway.

"Thompson told Officer Dexter that Pak got in his face and told Thompson to hit him," the affidavit says. "Thompson told Officer Dexter that Pak claimed he was going to shoot them and made a hand motion in front of them.

"Thompson told Officer Dexter he was not fearful and did not believe that Pak would do anything that he claimed," the affidavit says.

Biddeford Deputy Police Chief JoAnne Fiske, in summarizing the police report, said Monday that the two sides were told to keep their distance.

"Derrick and Susan were advised, if the harassment continued, to call (police). Both Derrick and Susan said they did not feel threatened," she said.

Dexter left the apartment at 6:50 p.m., telling a dispatcher that he would file a report on the incident.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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A makeshift memorial stands across from 17 Sokokis Road in Biddeford, where Derrick Thompson and Alivia Welch were shot dead Saturday.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Staff Photographer

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Susan Johnson and her 6-year-old Brayden

Provided photo

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Hundreds attended a vigil at Rotary Park in Biddeford on New Year's Eve to remember Derek Thompson, 19, and his girlfriend Alivia Welch, 18, whow ere shot and killed by their landlord James Pak on Saturday. In the above photo, Friends and family form a heart with their candles.

Derek Davis / Staff Photographer

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Maria McKeown of Biddeford embraces her aunt Carol LaMontagne of Biddeford at the vigil.

Derek Davis / Staff Photographer

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Hundreds attend a vigil at Rotary Park in Biddeford on New Year's Eve to remember Derek Thompson, 19, and his girlfriend Alivia Welch, 18, whow ere shot and killed by their landlord James Pak on Saturday.

Derek Davis / Staff Photographer


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