FRYEBURG — A 52-year-old man armed with a knife was shot and killed by police Tuesday night after allegedly leading several departments on a chase and crashing several times before approaching an officer.

Police said Kenneth Ellis was shot after approaching Fryeburg Police Officer Michael St. Laurent after Ellis crashed his pickup truck on Main Street.

Ellis’ last known address was in Hyannis, Massachusetts, police said.

In a statement released about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, Fryeburg Police Chief Aaron Mick described the circumstances that led to the shooting.

“On Tuesday,” the chief wrote, “Fryeburg Police Department was notified by New Hampshire authorities that they were chasing a black pickup truck that was refusing to stop and approaching the Maine state line. New Hampshire law enforcement terminated their chase. Fryeburg Police and the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department located the vehicle and tried to stop it on Main Street in Fryeburg. The pickup truck refused to stop, struck multiple vehicles on Main Street, and crashed into the snowbank in front of Norway Savings Bank.   

“The operator of the black pickup truck, identified as 52-year-old Kenneth Ellis, exited his vehicle, and approached Fryeburg Officer Michael St. Laurent who stopped right behind the truck,” the release continues. “Mr. Ellis brandished a knife and was shot by Officer St. Laurent. Mr. Ellis was pronounced dead at the scene.”   

The Oxford County Sheriff Deputy that was assisting Fryeburg Police with the chase was involved in a separate motor vehicle crash, Mick said. Deputy Justin Groetzinger struck a vehicle that turned in front of him on Main Street in Fryeburg.

“The Maine State Police Southern Field Troop is investigating this crash as well as the other crashes that Mr. Ellis was involved with,” according to the news release. “Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit South is also assisting with the crash investigations and identifying any witnesses to the incident. Troopers are working to reconstruct the cause of the crashes as well as determining the extent of injuries to those involved alongside the Attorney General’s Office investigation.” 

Officer Michael St. Laurent will be placed on administrative, leave, according to Mick, as is standard protocol in a police involved shooting. The Office of the Attorney General will be investigating the use of deadly force.    

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