An investigation by the attorney general’s office determined that a man fired 15 shots at two Portland police officers before he died in a shootout on Interstate-295 last year.

The Maine Office of the Attorney General said Friday that the police shooting was justified because officers were acting in self-defense.

Body and dashcam footage from the Dec. 17 shooting show 42-year-old Kyle Desmarais quickly pointed a gun at Portland officer Jordin Jackson after he stepped out of his Honda Element on the Exit 2 off-ramp of Interstate 295. In all, 25 shots were exchanged and Desmarais died on scene.

When Officers (Jacob) Webster and Jackson shot Mr. Desmarais, they reasonably believed that Mr. Desmarais posed an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to each of them,” Attorney General Aaron Frey wrote in his report released Friday.

The attorney general’s office investigates all police killings in Maine. It has never found a police shooting unjustified.

According to the report, Desmarais’ friend had called 911 earlier that night after she woke up to him stealing medication from her purse. When she confronted him, he allegedly strangled and threatened to kill her while holding a gun to her head.


When the officers responded to the call and later pursued him into South Portland, dashcam footage from Jackson’s cruiser shows Desmarais raised his gun and walked toward the driver’s side of the vehicle. Jackson moved to the other side of the cruiser for cover while Webster said he fired what he believed was three or four shots at Desmarais, according to the report.

Jackson told investigators that Desmarais shot at him at least once, according to the report, but he could not tell if Webster or Desmaris fired first.

“Officer Webster later reported that the incident happened so quickly that he could not tell if Mr. Desmarais had fired any shots,” the report states.

One of two Portland police vehicles that were hit by 11 bullets during a shootout on Interstate 295 last year. Courtesy Portland Police Department

Previously released footage from the scene shows that at least 20 shots were exchanged within about six seconds.

Investigators found 14 bullet casings near Desmarais’ body and one near the wiper blade of his car that all matched his black 9mm Remington RP9 handgun.

Eleven of those rounds hit police vehicles, according to Portland police.


Our officers were put in an extremely dangerous situation as they were both taking gunfire, but acted appropriately based on their extensive training,” Portland police Chief Mark Dubois said in a statement. “We are thankful neither of them were physically injured during this violent attack.”

Investigators also recovered eight casings from Webster’s gun and two from Jackson’s gun, the report shows.

Desmarais, who died on scene, had several prior convictions for theft, aggravated assault and several drug charges, according to a criminal background check. He was prohibited from owning a firearm.

“Unfortunately this incident resulted in the loss of life and we recognize the difficulty his family has been dealing with since December,” Dubois said.

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