AUGUSTA — The Office of the Maine Attorney General has concluded that an Augusta police officer was acting in self-defense in 2019 when he shot and wounded an armed city man in his South Belfast Avenue home.

Officer Sabastian Guptill Contributed photo by Augusta Police Department

The report, released Friday and signed by Attorney General Aaron Frey, concludes that Officer Sabastian Guptill was justified in using deadly force to protect himself because Robert Farrington was raising a handgun at him.

“When Officer Guptill saw Mr. Farrington raise the handgun in his direction, it was reasonable for Officer Guptill to believe that Mr. Farrington was about to use unlawful deadly force against him and that it was necessary to use deadly force to protect himself from serious bodily injury or death,” the report states.

A four-page letter to Augusta police Chief Jared Mills details the events leading up to the shooting in the early hours of Nov. 24, 2019, in which Farrington was shot in the left hip area.

Mills did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Guptill was one of three Augusta police officers who were trying to locate Robert Farrington after the Augusta Police Department was notified of a “temporary felony warrant” for Farrington’s arrest.


According to the report, Farrington’s ex-girlfriend had reported an alleged assault by Farrington to the Farmington Police Department during the evening of Nov. 23. Farrington was believed to be living in Augusta.

The residence on South Belfast Avenue in Augusta on Nov. 24, 2019, where Augusta Police Officer Sabastian Guptill shot Robert Farrington. A report released Friday by the Office of the Maine Attorney General has cleared Guptill in the shooting, stating the officer acted in self-defense. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal file

When Guptill, along with officers Brett Lowell and Aaron Paradis, arrived at a home on South Belfast Avenue, which is also Route 105 on the city’s east side, they found no lights on at the home. While Lowell knocked on the front door, Guptill had walked around to a deck on the left side of the house in case Farrington tried to leave that way.

After seven minutes with no response, the officers withdrew, and Guptill had started to drive away when Lowell saw a light go on inside. The three officers returned to the house, with Guptill returning to the deck where he had just been. The report states Guptill saw an outside light briefly go on. When he shined his flashlight at a glass door at the back of the house, he saw a curtain move back and a man he identified as Farrington standing at the door, which was closed, with a gun in his hand pointed downward.

When he saw the man raise the gun, Guptill called out he saw a gun, identified himself as “Augusta police” and ordered the man to drop the gun.

Because he believed the man was going to shoot him, Guptill fired at the man while moving out of the potential line of fire.

Authorities said they later determined that Farrington had been armed with a loaded Beretta 9mm semi-automatic pistol.


Guptill ultimately fired 10 rounds from his gun while he was moving to avoid being shot at, according to the report, with one bullet hitting Farrington in the left hip, another shattering a sliding glass door and the remaining rounds striking the house near the door.

Robert Farrington Photo courtesy of Kennebec County Correctional Facility

Following the shooting, Farrington was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening. When he was released on Nov. 27, he was then  arrested by Augusta police on the outstanding warrant from the Farmington Police Department and on a charge of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon stemming from the confrontation with Augusta police.

Guptill was placed on administrative leave while the Augusta Police Department conducted its own internal investigation. In January 2020, Mills said Guptill had returned to work that month without any corrective action being taken.

In October 2021, Guptill was one of two officers involved in the shooting death of a man at the Bread of Life Shelter on Hospital Street in Augusta. Police were called to the homeless shelter on a report of a man armed with a knife threatening other residents. After an internal investigation, the Augusta Police Department concluded that no corrective or disciplinary action should be taken against Guptill or Sgt. Christopher Blodgett.

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