June 13, 2013

State Police say shot West Paris teen had stolen rifle

Grandmother clames James Reynolds was carrying walking stick; police say guns, beer burglarized from neighbor found on shot 18-year-old

By Matt Byrne mbyrne@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Paine lives next door to Reynolds and his mother in West Paris on Sumner Road, also known as Route 219. Reymolds was often at Paine's house when his mother was at work, she said. His parents divorced when he was less than 2 years old.

Paine said she last saw her grandson around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

"He came over to my house to see if I had supper ready," she said.

She said there were no guns in either home, adding that Reynolds often liked to go for walks; and when he did, he carried a walking stick that his grandfather had made and given to him.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, when asked about the walking stick replied, "He (Reynolds) was armed with a hunting rifle."

William McKinley, the Portland attorney who represents members of the Maine State Troopers Association, said his client is cooperating with investigators.

"The officer involved does not have to present him or herself for an interview," said McKinley, who traveled to West Paris on Saturday night.

"Trooper Wing chose to present himself voluntarily for an interview," he said. "You can infer the obvious from that. Had he not felt confident in his decision-making, he would not have attended."

Typically, investigations into the use of deadly force can take as long as two months, said McCausland.

Paine said that Reynolds sometimes tested his limits.

"He tried to go back (to school) a couple of times, but it didn't work for him," she said.

Paine has no criminal history as an adult, but he did lose his license following a drunken-driving crash when he was 17, according to a state police report and the Secretary of State's Office.

According to the crash report, Reynolds was driving at 2:41 p.m. two days after his 17th birthday when the 2001 Pontiac he was driving went off Round the Pond Road in Norway.

The car was towed and he suffered minor injuries. A blood test was taken and the results are pending, according to the report, but drivers under 21 are not allowed to have any alcohol in their system and his license was suspended.

Paine said Reynolds enjoyed music and played guitar and video games. He also did some work at the West Paris animal shelter.

She said she didn't know why he was shot.

"I talked to the people with the state police, I talked to the state trooper. I don't know," she said.

According to documents provided by the attorney general's office, this is not Wing's first use of deadly force in the course of duty.

In 2008, his first year as a trooper, Wing fired three rounds from a rifle into an oncoming truck driven by a suspect whom police were pursuing. A report by the attorney general's office following the June 28, 2008, encounter found Wing was legally justified when he shot at the vehicle.

The suspect, then-51-year-old Lawrence Lapoint of Mexico, was believed to have been armed. Police were pursuing Lapoint following a report that he allegedly threatened to kill his domestic partner. No one was injured in that incident.

Wing graduated in 2003 from Lewiston High School and served two tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine.

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