The Biddeford man killed by Portland police Sunday night had been released from prison recently after serving time for domestic violence charges.

Kyle Desmarais, 42, was released from the Maine State Prison in February, according to court records. A state criminal history shows that he avoided conflict with law enforcement for 10 months – until Sunday, when Portland police say they pulled him over on Interstate 295, and he got out pointing a gun at them. He died in a shootout with police.

Desmarais pleaded no contest to two domestic violence assault charges and guilty to violating the conditions of his release in December 2022, according to court records. He was sentenced to seven years in prison with all but 32 months suspended. But because he had already spent the two years since his arrest in September 2020 in jail, he was scheduled for release in May and eventually walked out of prison in February – likely for good behavior, said his former attorney, Jon Gale.

Gale said the total jail time his client served was within the normal range for someone with his convictions, and he said the eight years of probation Desmarais faced amounted to a relatively severe sentence. If Desmarais had been caught violating the conditions of his release, he could have been forced to serve the rest of his seven-year sentence.

Spokespeople for both Portland police and the Maine Office of the Attorney General, which is investigating the shooting, declined again to discuss it Tuesday, citing the pending investigation. The attorney general’s office, which investigates all officer-involved shootings in Maine, has never found a shooting to be unjustified. Their investigations must be completed within 180 days, or six months, according to a 2021 state law.



Portland police were called to a report of an aggravated assault around 11:40 p.m. Sunday, but the suspect had fled in a vehicle by the time officers arrived, according to the department’s initial statement Monday morning.

A vehicle matching the description was spotted driving south on I-295 and was pulled over on the Exit 2 off-ramp. Desmarais got out of the car and pointed a gun at the officers, police said.

Portland officers Jacob Webster and Jordin Jackson exchanged gunfire with Desmarais, who was shot, as were the officers’ patrol cars. Neither of the officers was injured, police said. Desmarais died at the scene.

Police logs show Portland officers responded to a “disturbance” at 30 Preble St. around the time of the aggravated assault, but it’s unclear whether the incidents are the same. Officials have not answered questions about the alleged assault or about whether they told Desmarais to put his weapon down before the shooting began.

Desmarais spent more than a decade bouncing in and out of prison for numerous crimes, including theft, aggravated assault and several drug charges, according to a criminal background check. He was charged with domestic violence assault and aggravated assault in both 2019 and and 2020. As part of his release conditions, he was ordered not to contact the victim.

Desmarais, who according to court records was living in his father’s Biddeford home at the time of his release, was prohibited from owning a firearm. A family member who answered the phone at his father’s house Tuesday declined to talk about the shooting.

Sunday’s police shooting was the first in Portland since 2021, when Edward Hyman attempted “suicide by cop” and was shot outside the Preble Street Resource Center. Four year earlier, Portland police shot and killed Chance Baker outside a sandwich shop while was holding a rifle-style pellet gun. Baker was struggling with homelessness, drug use, and mental health problems.

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