Livermore Falls police Lt. Joseph Sage reads a statement Tuesday about the hostage situation while Maine State Police Lt. Jason Madore, commander of Troop C, waits to speak at the Livermore Falls Police Station on Tuesday. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

This story was updated Wednesday evening after an autopsy determined that Donald White died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was also shot by a state trooper, but that was not the lethal shot, according to the Maine Attorney General’s Office. State police used imprecise language Tuesday in describing their use of “deadly force,” leading reporters to believe that police had killed White.

LIVERMORE FALLS — A nearly daylong standoff ended early Tuesday with the death of a Jay man who had entered a home and took three people hostage using zip ties, a weapon and explosives.

The ordeal began early Monday when police say Donald White, 44, of Jay entered the home at 48 Knapp St., where his former girlfriend, Amie Smith, lived. She escaped and called police while White took three hostages, police said.

The standoff ended after midnight Monday when White released Smith’s father, the last of the three hostages, and shot himself in the head, police said. The Maine State Police tactical team also shot him. The other hostages, whom police did not identify, had been released earlier Monday.

After being released, Kenney Smith, 64, was seen hugging his daughter and other family members in a video posted by News Center Maine.

Law enforcement officers wheel a bomb disposal robot down Knapp Street on Tuesday in Livermore Falls after a hostage situation was resolved. There were multiple explosive devices still in the house at 48 Knapp St., Lt. Jason Madore of the Maine State Police said. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

Kenney Smith told the TV station that White entered his home at 2:30 a.m. Monday and used a stun gun on him, and that he and the other hostages were tied up with zip ties and threatened at gunpoint by White, his daughter’s ex-boyfriend.


“He Tasered me. He had some kind of a gun. I don’t know what it was,” Smith told the TV station. Smith said he suffered injuries to his face, arms and leg.

The officer who used deadly force has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure, Lt. Jason Madore of the Maine State Police said. The Maine Attorney General’s Office is investigating the cause and manner of White’s death, he said. He declined to release the officer’s name.

White had previously lived at the house and police responded to the residence several times in the past for domestic violence matters, according to Livermore Falls Police Chief Ernest Steward Jr.

Madore said there were multiple explosive devices in the home Tuesday afternoon and a robot and other equipment were at the scene along with the state’s bomb team and special forces vehicle.

Scott Albert, superintendent of RSU 73, told News Center that one of the hostages was a district staff member and the other was a RSU 73 student.

Students were released from the schools Monday morning because of a bomb threat, but it wasn’t clear if it was connected to the standoff. The schools were checked Monday and it was deemed safe to re-enter them Tuesday.


David Blais, who lives at 60 Knapp St., said that as he sat in his house Tuesday morning, he heard a loud noise that apparently came from a car parked on the street near the scene.

“Today, I was sitting here this morning and I heard a loud bang,” he said. “I went outside and the doors were open on the car. There was smoke coming out of it and debris beside it in the road.”

“I am just glad it ended,” he said. “It was a nice quiet neighborhood here and to see something like this happen is something else.”

Ricky Merrill, who lives about five houses up the street from the Smiths, said Monday night that he saw neighbors being evacuated and saw police and deputies at a neighboring house as the standoff continued. He also saw two people on the roof of the front porch earlier in the day and saw members of the state police tactical team creeping through the backyard of a neighboring yard.

“It is a definitely a shocker,” Merrill said. “This is something you would not expect in a small town that is always friendly.”

Police repeatedly tried to get White to come out of the house Monday night by calling out to him on a megaphone from an armored vehicle blocking the street.


A negotiator told White several times that they were trying to call him and he needed to answer his phone.

“It is time to let Ken out,” the negotiator said.

The negotiator also asked White to show Smith in a window. At one point, police told White they would give him his medication. As of 10 p.m. that hadn’t happened.

Besides the state’s police tactical team, bomb team and crisis negotiators, Livermore Falls police received help from New Hampshire and Massachusetts state police, which are part of the New England Police Administrators Conference.

A police cruiser blocks one end of Knapp Street on Tuesday morning in Livermore Falls after a standoff with a hostage-taker ended at 48 Knapp St. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal

The incident began when Livermore Falls police responded to a report of an armed intruder with zip ties at the residence about 5:30 a.m. Monday, Steward said Monday.

Four people were at the house. One escaped and reported the situation to police. Two other hostages were freed later in the day.


“From the moment law enforcement were called to this scene, literally hundreds of members of this country’s law enforcement community committed nonstop dedication to the best possible resolution of a very hostile and tragic set of circumstances,” Livermore Falls Lt. Joseph Sage said Tuesday at a news conference.

“I can say with a degree of certainty that the community of Livermore Falls and this fine state of Maine have some of the most dedicated, committed and specialized officers available.”

He expressed gratitude on behalf of the Livermore Falls Police Department and community to the law enforcement personnel who responded to the incident.

Sage also thanked the members of the community for their continued support of law enforcement, including the First Church of Livermore Falls and VFW Post 3335 that offered shelters and nourishment to law enforcement. Throughout the day, many residents, businesses and charities offered assistance.

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