Kourtney Sherwood and her wife Stacy Beverage. Courtesy of Stacy Beverage

Many questions remain unanswered for the family of a Brunswick woman who was shot by an officer after what Topsham police described as an “armed encounter” along the Route 196 bridge on Monday.

Brunswick resident Stacy Beverage — the wife of Kourtney Sherwood, 37, who died at Maine Medical Center on Tuesday following the shooting — said Thursday in an interview with The Times Record that police have still not told her whether Sherwood had or brandished a gun.

“There is an injustice here, and we all want answers,” Sherwood’s brother Kris Jordan said in a message to a Times Record reporter on Thursday.

Beverage agreed, saying the family is taking steps to hire a lawyer.

“I understand the fact that it’s still under investigation, but I feel like there are some things they should be able to tell me, like was she shot in the vehicle?” Beverage said, adding “More so, really, we’re looking to find out where the system failed here — where the breakdown in communication is. I’m personally not looking to get anybody in trouble, I’m not looking to point blame at anybody, I’m hoping that some good comes out of this.”



Leading up to the shooting on Monday, Sherwood — who’s grappled with lifelong mental health challenges — had said she felt as though she was “starting to break,” according to Beverage.

Later that day, Beverage said that Sherwood called her because she had been pulled over by the Maine State Police after running a red light near the Route 196 bridge.

Sherwood then asked Beverage to come get the vehicle, anticipating that she was going to be arrested, which Beverage said was typical due to Sherwood’s past record. Instead, Beverage said, Sherwood was issued two summonses by the trooper, who then left. At that point, Beverage said that Sherwood began making suicidal statements over the phone, and Beverage contacted the Topsham police.

“I do have a couple of pistols, only one of them is in my house, I don’t know where the other ones are. I’m not disputing for a second that she may not have eventually done something inappropriate, threatened it or maybe even picked one up if she had them with her, but no one will even confirm to me that she showed a firearm,” Beverage said, adding, “I’m not in denial about that. I’m not trying to say that she’s an innocent victim.”

Kourtney Sherwood and her brother Kris Jordan. Courtesy of Kris Jordan

Mathew Bowers, the Topsham officer who fired the single shot that killed Sherwood, has been placed on administrative leave — standard procedure when deadly force is used — while the Topsham Police Department and the Office of the Maine Attorney General conduct separate investigations.

Attempts to contact Topsham Police Chief Marc Hagan for comment Thursday were unsuccessful. In a statement on Tuesday, Hagan said no further details will be released at this time to ensure the integrity of the investigation.


A criminal background check shows Sherwood had an arrest record that included charges of assault on an officer, driving with a revoked license and criminal mischief.

Ultimately, Beverage said that she wants to know why the state trooper that first pulled over Sherwood left and did not arrest her. Beverage said that, just before, Sherwood was exhibiting distress and uncharacteristic behaviors, like misspelling text messages despite typically being an “immaculate” typist. The first summons was for driving without a license, Beverage said, and authorities have not told her what the second one was for.

In an email, Maine State Police spokesperson Shannon Moss confirmed that Sherwood was pulled over by a trooper who left after issuing two summonses shortly before the shooting.

“I can’t offer any other details at this time as the case is under investigation by the Attorney General’s Office. Whether or not our Trooper’s actions were appropriate prior to the use of deadly force by another agency will be part of the AG’s review. Therefore, we must reserve comment until then,” Moss said.

Beverage said she asked police for the opportunity to speak with her wife, as she thought she could help defuse the situation, although police denied the request.

“I know it’s probably some sort of protocol, but had they said ‘will you let your wife come and talk to you,’ you know, even just ask her that and who knows, in that state maybe she would have said no, but I really feel like all this could have been avoided, and I don’t know why they did this the way that they did,” Beverage said.


Kourtney Sherwood.  Courtesy of Stacy Beverage


Sherwood had three children, whom Beverage said were “her biggest love.”

She worked part-time for a cleaning service as well as the Cumberland Farms at Cook’s Corner.

Sherwood struggled her whole life with mental health issues and finding access to adequate help, according to Beverage.

She had bipolar disorder, Beverage said, a mental disorder that impacts approximately 2.3 million Americans today, according to the Mental Illness Policy Organization.

Sherwood was prescribed medication, Beverage said, and throughout their four-year marriage checked herself into Mid Coast Hospital twice.


She had tried various other mental health services, Beverage said, and after a rough patch, was able to re-solidify some family relationships in the past several years.

She loved the ocean and word puzzles.

“Everything about her was amazing, but you were only able to see that if she let you see it,” Beverage said. “She also was amazingly stubborn and closed, and you know, there were lots of reasons for that.”

Beverage added: “I want people to remember her by her gorgeous eyes, her gorgeous smile, her love for her children and her family. And I think her legacy should be how hard she fought to get better. To fight this whole mental illness saga.”

If you are concerned about yourself or about somebody else, call the Maine Crisis Hotline at 1-888-568-1112. If you are not in Maine, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact a crisis counselor at suicidepreventionlifeline.org

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