AUBURN — A Lewiston man was shot dead on a Russell Avenue rooftop early Saturday morning after breaking into a home, fighting with a man, setting fire to two homes and shooting at police, officials said.

Leein Amos Hinkley, 43, was killed Saturday morning after a standoff with local and state police. Hinkley was released on $1,500 bail Wednesday for violating probation and on violent crime charges from 2011 and May 2024.

Maine State Police and Auburn Police Department held a joint press conference Saturday afternoon releasing some of the details about the incident that left a dead gunman, two burnt homes, a missing man and a rattled neighborhood in its wake.

About 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening state police sent out a news release saying human remains were found in the fire debris at one of the homes on Russell Avenue. The body was sent to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta for identification.

Auburn Police Deputy Chief Tim Cougle said dispatch received a call around 12:57 a.m. from a woman at a Russell Avenue residence reporting her significant other was in a fight with a man trying to break into her residence.

“That female’s significant other is currently unaccounted for,” Cougle said.


Cougle said gunshots could be heard over the phone and, as police were arriving to the area, dispatch reported the woman fled her home through a window.

Auburn Police Deputy Chief Tim Cougle, right, and Maine State Police Col. William Ross speak Saturday at a press conference on an incident in which a gunman, Leein Amos Hinkley, 42, of Lewiston, broke into a Russell Avenue home in Auburn, fired at a woman and a man, and set fire to the home and a nearby second home early Saturday morning. The incident ended in a standoff in which police shot and killed the gunman. Joe Charpentier/Sun Journal

Auburn police located the woman at 1:09 a.m. at a residence further down the road on Russell Avenue. Around the same time, police discovered the woman’s home was on fire and heard yelling coming from inside the home, Cougle said. About a minute later, the woman identified Hinkley as the man trying to break into her home.

Hinkley began firing shots at Auburn police and Androscoggin County Sheriff’s deputies around 1:15 a.m. and minutes later began yelling at officers from inside the residence. Shortly after, a Maine State Police tactical team responded to assist.

Hinkley initiated a second volley of gunfire around 1:27 a.m. and fled the residence as first responders identified a second home was on fire.

Sheltering in a neighboring garage, Hinkley fled again when the homeowner alerted police.

Nearby resident Gillian Johnson told the Sun Journal that her power went out around 2 a.m. and she heard what sounded like fireworks or firecrackers.


“(Then) we saw a fire out the window,” Johnson said. “At first we just thought it was some kids who had made a mistake and were just playing around, but at 2:40 a.m. about 20-plus police units rolled up. Then about 30 minutes later there were SWAT and K-9s, and a drone.”

State police Col. William Ross said after fleeing the garage, Hinkley accessed the rooftop of a residence at 33 Russell Ave. where he would remain until around 5:36 a.m. when state police shot and killed him.

State Troopers Scott Duff and Patrick Hall have been placed on administrative leave as the Attorney General’s Office investigates, Ross said. The Attorney General’s Office investigates all police officer-involved shootings. Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit is investigating the underlying criminal matter and conduct, he said.

“It was very scary,” said Hosannah Cousineau who lives one house down. After calling 911 twice about the fire, she said she couldn’t figure out why firetrucks were not responding. She was told to shelter-in-place and to stay away from windows.

Around 5:30 a.m., the suspect appeared on a roof and yelled, “’Story time! No one wants to hear the truth. I just want my family with me,”” Cousineau said.

That was when a tactical team moved in and shot Hinkley.


“I watched everything unfold from my backyard,” Cousineau said. “The noises were horrific — a loud whooshing and then loud bangs as propane (or) oil tanks exploded! And the flames were so high … We were nervous the fire was going to spread to our home. I, unfortunately, saw the conclusion — I totally thought they were going to take him into custody. I did not expect to see a death on a roof from my living room window. I am kind of in shock.”

Cousineau said she heard the female victim a few hours later crying while talking on the phone. She was glad to escape, but was upset her home burned to the ground along with all of her possessions. Cousineau said she began getting messages from people who knew Hinkley and that he had recently been released from jail.

Ross said at the Saturday press conference that the district attorney’s office objected to Hinkley’s lowered $1,500 bail amount and order for house arrest which came down on Wednesday. The conditions of Hinkley’s release included remaining at 90 No Name Pond Road in Lewiston except for legal, medical or employment reasons, not to travel on Russell Avenue and to have no contact with Morgan Vellaro, who is listed on Auburn’s tax assessment database as owner of 5 Russell Ave.

The no-contact order involving Vellaro stemmed from a May 24 arrest for domestic violence aggravated assault and domestic violence assault.

Col. Ross said Hinkley’s probation violation was for the May charges and for a 2011 conviction for crimes involving domestic violence elevated aggravated assault.

“He was held without bail on the probation violation. Over the objection of the district attorney’s office, the court reduced his bail to $1,500 concurrent with conditions including house arrest,” Ross said.


Hinkley was previously serving a 20-year sentence, five years suspended, for the 2011 stabbing of his former girlfriend and a man who attempted to intervene.

Good Samaritan John Clark of Lisbon, responded Feb. 27, 2011, to yelling coming from a vehicle parked in his driveway. When he approached the car, Clark discovered Hinkley, in the passenger seat, punching Jennifer Alexander who was sitting in the driver’s seat. A third passenger, Alexander’s and Hinkley’s 14-month-old baby, was in the backseat of the vehicle.

Alexander, already bleeding from stab wounds, pleaded with Clark to call 911. When Clark attempted to free Alexander, Hinkley stabbed him in the shoulder with a pocketknife. Hinkley fled the scene with the couple’s baby after Clark managed to free Alexander.

Hinkley was eventually subdued by his family at their home in Sabattus after he took a shotgun and ammunition and fled the home toward the woods behind the home.

Hinkley’s father, Leon Hinkley, said his son had been making statements for several weeks he was going to kill himself.

At the July 31, 2012, sentencing hearing, Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Worden argued for a 20-year prison sentence stating Alexander lived in constant fear. Alexander remained in the district attorney’s office during the hearing out of that fear.

“How Mr. Hinkley was not identified as the ticking time bomb that he is” is regrettable, Worden said at the sentencing. “Someone in the court system should have been paying attention. We could have done better.”

Staff writers Mark LaFlamme and Marla Hoffman contributed to this report.

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