PITTSFIELD — The day before a Pittsfield man died in an armed confrontation with Maine State Police, his parents had called Pittsfield police concerned about his behavior, authorities said.

Acting Pittsfield police Chief Marty Cochran said the parents of Gregory Lasselle, 27, had said they were worried about his “state of mind.” Officers attempted to get in contact with Lasselle over the phone and in person but were unsuccessful, Cochran said Thursday.

The next day, on Feb. 25, the parents went to their son’s home on Detroit Road and a domestic disturbance ensued. Pittsfield officers responded along with Somerset County sheriff’s deputies, and the Maine State Police tactical team later arrived. What followed was a 12-hour standoff with police that culminated with Lasselle’s death.

State police so far have only said that two troopers were “involved in an armed confrontation” with Lasselle that led to his death. Authorities have not confirmed whether Lasselle was shot.

The incident was one of two within a week involving a person suffering an apparent mental health crisis who died during a confrontation with police.

Kourtney Sherwood, 37, of Brunswick, died Tuesday after she was shot by Topsham police on Monday.


Topsham police Chief Marc Hagan told The Times Record newspaper that Officer Mathew Bowers fired one round “as a result of an armed encounter” between Sherwood and police officers who responded after receiving a call that Sherwood was in her car making threats to harm herself and others.

Sherwood’s wife, Stacy Beverage, told The Times Record that Sherwood had struggled with mental illness and with finding treatment options. Before her death, Sherwood said she felt like she was “starting to break” and was showing distress and uncharacteristic behaviors, Beverage said.

In a separate police shooting, Dustin Paradis, 34, of Augusta, was shot and killed by Augusta police at Bread of Life Ministries’ emergency housing shelter for families and individuals. Officers in August had responded to a report of a man armed with a knife and threatening other people.

Police body camera footage released in December appeared to show that Paradis moved toward officers with a knife in his hand and told them to kill him.

Paradis’ mother, Tammy Woodcock, previously told the Kennebec Journal that Paradis had Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism. She said he was kind and caring but if he was off his medications he could fall into a rage and would lash out and damage objects. Woodcock said her son was not a threat to police or anyone else.

Hannah Longley, the director of community programs at the National Alliance on Mental Illness Maine, said Friday that while there’s a stigma that people experiencing a mental health crisis are more prone to violence, they are actually more likely to be the victim of a crime than they are to commit one.


The solution is to increase community programs to help people before a crisis develops, she said.

“With any illness if we aren’t able to provide resources then the illness progresses,” Longley said. “So how can we get those interventions in as early as possible?”

Cochran, the acting chief in Pittsfield, declined to reveal further details of the incident involving Lasselle, only saying that Lasselle’s parents were able to safely leave the home before state police arrived.

He deferred questions to the Maine Attorney General’s Office, which declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

The two troopers involved in Lasselle’s death have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard in the case of a fatal police action.

The state medical examiner’s office said it has conducted an autopsy on Lasselle but the cause and manner of death is being withheld due to the investigation by the Attorney General’s Office.

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