A man killed by Portland police officers last month stepped out of his car, immediately raised his gun and took eight steps toward officers before a shootout erupted, the department’s videos show.

The four videos – which include footage from body cameras worn by officers Jacob Webster and Jordin Jackson, as well as dashcam footage from their cruisers – do not clearly show the moment police killed 42-year-old Kyle Desmarais on Dec. 17, and they don’t definitively answer the question of who fired first.

But the videos confirm that Desmarais did threaten police after they pulled him over on the Exit 2 off-ramp of Interstate 295 in connection with an aggravated assault.

Police responded to a reported assault at around 11:40 p.m. but arrived too late to catch the suspect, the department said in a statement it released after the shooting. Less than 10 minutes later, the videos show Jackson pull Desmarais over and order him to get out of the car.

Dashcam footage from Jackson’s cruiser shows Desmarais immediately raise his gun and begin walking across the road toward the driver side of Jackson’s cruiser. Jackson’s bodycam, which does not have audio, shows the officer quickly take cover near the trunk while Webster, the second officer, pulls up and opens his door.


Desmarais is still walking and steps just out of the frame when the first gunshot rings out. It’s not obvious who fired. Desmarais’ arms appear to jerk slightly at that moment, but among the darkness and the rain, no muzzle flash from his gun is visible in any of the videos. At the same moment, a puff of smoke or flash appears on Webster’s bodycam footage, but it’s not clear whose gun it came from, and an officer can be heard shouting “shots fired” several times over the police radio.

One second later, Desmarais steps out of the frame of Jackson’s dashcam as a flurry of shots begins. Approximately 20 shots are exchanged in just six seconds, but it’s impossible to tell from the videos how many were fired by police and how many by Desmarais.

After a three-second pause, two final shots are fired in succession – likely from Jackson, who is seen pointing his gun toward a target out of the frame of both of his cameras in the final seconds of video.

Police have confirmed that Desmarais died on scene. Neither officer was injured, but both of their cruisers were hit by bullets.

The Office of the Maine Attorney General is investigating the shooting, as is standard for officer involved shootings in Maine. Spokespeople for both Portland police and the attorney general’s office have declined to discuss the case pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Neither agency responded to questions Tuesday about slight inconsistencies in timestamps of the videos, which all begin and end at different moments; Webster’s bodycam footage cuts out before the final two shots are fired, and Jackson’s footage begins after he stopped Desmarais’ car. Portland police provided the videos after they were released by the attorney general’s office.

Desmarais had 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. Court records suggest that he was living in his father’s Biddeford home after being released from Maine State Prison in February following a domestic violence conviction. He was prohibited from owning a firearm.

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