The search by police for a Standish man who eluded a state trooper in May during a car chase ended in gunfire Friday when he was shot and killed by a Gorham police officer.

Kyle Needham, 32, was shot by Gorham police Officer Dean Hannon, a 16-year veteran of the force, in the state’s third officer-involved shooting of the year, the Mane Attorney General’s Office said.

Kyle Needham Photo courtesy of Maine State Police

Needham was wanted on warrants, including for eluding a Maine State Police trooper during a car chase in York County last month, but it was unclear what brought Gorham police to the shopping plaza in Gorham Center where the shooting occurred or how they first came to interact with Needham.

No officers were hurt in the incident, which happened between 4 and 5 p.m. Friday. A woman who was with the man at the time of the shooting on Main Street also was unhurt, said Marc Malon, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office.

Hannon fired on Needham when it appeared he was about to run over an officer, according to Malon. It was unclear whether Hannon was the officer in danger of being struck by Needham’s truck, or whether it was another officer who appeared to be in danger.

Malon said Needham had used the truck to ram at least one police vehicle before he was killed.

There was little sign of the confrontation near the Burger King on Saturday, where a restaurant employee declined to comment about what happened. The confrontation occurred in a back parking lot next to the restaurant.

Needham’s father, Steve Needham, also declined to comment Saturday and said he needs to find out more about what happened to his son.

Hannon has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the attorney general’s investigation into whether the shooting was legally justified, which is standard practice in officer-involved shootings. Needham was shot as he attempted to escape from police in the truck, authorities said.

Needham was wanted on warrants, police said. State police asked for the public’s help locating Needham last month, after he led troopers on a high-speed chase through Hollis, they said. State police spokesman Steve McCausland confirmed Saturday that the man killed Friday is the same person they sought in the earlier chase.

At that time, Needham’s license was suspended as a habitual offender, and he was wanted on warrants for probation revocation and eluding law enforcement in connection with a previous car chase, police said.

During the car chase in Hollis, police said Needham was traveling with a woman, identified as Amanda Merrifield, 33, of Biddeford, who was also wanted for one count of failing to submit to arrest.

It was unknown Saturday whether the woman in the vehicle Friday was a different person. A message left for Merrifield’s family Saturday was not immediately returned.

Needham’s criminal history stretches to 2006, and he spent multiple stints in jail and prison. All of his convictions are for property crimes that did not include violence committed against a person. The most serious convictions include two counts of burglary, multiple theft convictions, felony drug possession, and in 2017 he was convicted of eluding an officer, which garnered him a 14-month prison sentence.

Needham’s driving history is also deep with violations, including multiple tickets for speeding and convictions for attaching false plates, failure to provide proof of insurance, driving after suspension, driving to endanger, failing to show a valid inspection sticker, and eluding an officer.

His license was most recently revoked in May 2018 for three years, and he would have been eligible to drive again in May 2021.

Hannon has used deadly force once before in Maine. In 2007, he was among officers from several towns who were involved in a car chase that followed a shooting in Saco. In that incident, Hannon fired on the suspect vehicle as the chase came to an end, believing he was under fire from the suspect, who was armed with an AK-47-style assault rifle.

Hannon fired at the suspect’s vehicle three times, and the use of deadly force was deemed justified. The gunshots did not hit the suspect, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Attorney General’s Office later determined.

Police may use deadly force if they have an actual, reasonable belief that deadly force is being threatened against them or someone else, and that using deadly force is necessary to counter the imminent threat.

The Attorney General’s Office investigates all uses of deadly force by law enforcement officers. The judgment is based on the totality of the circumstances, from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene.

Since 1990, the Attorney General’s Office has investigated more than 150 police-involved shootings in Maine, and it has never found any of them to be unjustified.

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