The circumstances surrounding an officer-involved shooting in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood remained a mystery Sunday night.

A Portland police officer shot and wounded a suspected burglar early Saturday morning, but the officer’s identity and the name of the person who was shot were being withheld by authorities.

The officer was placed on paid administrative leave following the shooting, according to Portland police.

Messages left Sunday evening with spokesmen for the Portland Police Department and the Maine Attorney General’s Office were not returned. Portland police told a reporter on Saturday that the decision to identify the officer would be left up to the AG’s Office. The name of the suspected burglar has also not been released. The person was transported to Maine Medical Center for treatment of injuries that are not considered to be life-threatening.

According to Portland police, officers responded around 5:24 a.m. Saturday to the report of a burglary in progress near the Preble Street Soup Kitchen, 252 Oxford St. Officers confronted a “possible suspect” and the person was shot, police said in a news release.

It is standard procedure for the AG’s Office to investigate all officer-involved shootings to determine whether the use of force was justified. The Portland Police Department’s website lists two shootings in the past 10 years, both of which were ruled justified by the Maine AG’s Office.

In February 2017, Sgt. Nicholas Goodman fatally shot 22-year-old Chance David Baker, who was carrying a BB gun in the parking lot of a shopping plaza on St. John Street. The shooting was justified because Goodman believed Baker was carrying a lethal weapon, the attorney general’s investigation found. Baker’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the department and the pawnshop that sold him the air rifle, and his name became a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter protesters last summer.

In November 2011, Officer Robert Miller shot Jonathan Mitchell, 29, during a vehicle chase that was part of a burglary investigation. Miller shot Mitchell as the suspect was attempting to escape in his car. Mitchell survived, and the Attorney General’s Office ruled the shooting justified because, under Maine law, officers may use deadly force to make an arrest or prevent a subject’s escape – if they believe the subject has committed, or intends to commit, a crime that endangers human life.

The Portland incident was the second shooting this weekend involving a police officer. A Rumford man died during a confrontation with police Friday night in Dixfield. Matthew A. Marston, 29, was shot by Officer Dustin Broughton of the Mexico Police Department during the confrontation but died after shooting himself, according to the Maine Attorney General’s Office.


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