MADISON — A Madison man shot and killed his partner and their 25-year-old son, then fatally shot a neighbor and wounded another relative before he was shot to death by police Wednesday morning in what authorities described as domestic violence-related killings.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, confirmed at a news briefing Wednesday afternoon on Russell Road that three people had been shot to death — Lori Hayden, 53, and her son, Dustin Tuttle, 26; and Michael Spaulding, 57 — and a fourth, Harvey Austin, 57, of Skowhegan, was wounded.

The gunman, who was shot and killed by Somerset County sheriff’s deputies, was identified as Carroll Tuttle Jr., 51, the partner of Hayden and father of Dustin Tuttle.

“This is an extreme case of domestic violence that has taken place here in Madison,” McCausland said, adding that police are focused on finding out “what set the gunman off. We don’t have that answer and we hope to get it.”

Carroll Tuttle has committed misdemeanor infractions stretching from 1987 to 2004, according to a statewide criminal records check. The misdemeanor charges include criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and assault.

Earlier in the day, Skowhegan Selectwoman Darla Pickett confirmed the death of her daughter, Hayden, who is also the sister of Skowhegan’s finance and human resources director, Trisha Austin.

“I only know my child is gone,” Pickett, also a former Morning Sentinel reporter, said in a brief phone call Wednesday afternoon. “I’m just broken-hearted right now. I can’t … talk. I just can’t talk. I’m sorry.”

Harvey Austin, who is married to Trisha Austin, Lori Hayden’s sister, was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for treatment of gunshot wounds. His injuries are not considered to be life-threatening, according to McCausland.

Maine State Police said that Somerset County Sheriff’s Office deputies confronted Carroll Tuttle on Wednesday morning near the scene of the shootings, where he was shot fatally.

The shootings happened at two homes and along the roadside about 4 miles from the center of town in Madison, a Somerset County community of about 4,800 residents. The locations are about 2.5 miles from downtown Skowhegan, which has a population of about 9,000.

Skowhegan police closed Russell Road to traffic at the Madison town line, and that blockade was expected to remain into the night Wednesday, police said. Russell Road begins near the site of the Skowhegan State Fair and extends north about 5 miles before intersecting with Route 148/White Schoolhouse Road in Madison.

VIOLENCE SPARKED

Hayden and her son were shot in their home at 316 Russell Road, while Spaulding was shot at his home at 299 Russell Road, according to McCausland. Austin was shot outside 316 Russell Road, the Tuttle home.

The two homes are just yards apart from one another.

“The state police, the Somerset sheriff’s department and the attorney general’s office (are) investigating this multi-scene incident that we have in Madison,” McCausland told reporters in a briefing at the Skowhegan/Madison town line earlier Wednesday.

“There are a number of different scenes,” he said. “Russell Road will be closed throughout the day as investigators start trying to find out essentially what sparked this violence. Our task now is to find out exactly what happened and why. There’s a number of different scenes to contend with.”

McCausland said it is a rare and a “very, very serious incident” and that investigators would be at the scene all day “and into the night.”

The shootings happened just before the 911 emergency call at 7:37 a.m. Wednesday, he said.

Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said three deputies were involved in shooting Caroll Tuttle Jr. They were Chief Deputy James Ross; his son, Detective Michael Ross; and Deputy Joseph Jackson.

The deputies shot Tuttle in his own driveway.

“They confronted Mr. Tuttle this morning. There was some shots exchanged,” Lancaster said. “I have total confidence in the performance of my deputies.”

Authorities declined to say what kind of gun Tuttle used, how many shots he fired or how many shots deputies fired.

Lancaster said the Office of the Maine Attorney General is investigating the officer-involved shooting, as is protocol in Maine. The deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave as the investigation continues. The Office of Chief Medical Examiner will conduct autopsies on the four victims as their part of the investigation.

Lancaster said Tuttle shot Hayden and his son, left the scene and then returned in his pickup truck and went to Spaulding’s home and shot him. The deputies shot Tuttle to death later. The investigation will determine whether Tuttle had shot at the deputies, none of whom was injured.

“Carroll Tuttle shot everyone. Carroll Tuttle was responsible for this morning’s violence from start to finish,” McCausland said.

None of the victims was armed, he said. Hayden and Tuttle were not estranged, according to McCausland.

McCausland said police are not sure why Harvey Austin was at the scene.

Wayne Parlin has lived on Russell Road, across the street from Lori Hayden and Carroll Tuttle’s home, for 17 years. Parlin said that during that time he got to know his neighbors and their son, Dustin, well. Parlin said the couple had lived at 316 Russell Road for about 20 years.

Parlin called Carroll Tuttle Jr. “a bully.” He recalled the time he found a piece of clothing in the road that belonged to their son. When he returned the article of clothing to their home, Lori Hayden answered the door.

A few days later, Tuttle confronted him and threatened Parlin, warning him to never come to his home when Hayden was there alone, Parlin said. Parlin claims that Tuttle grabbed him by the throat and pushed him against a wall in Tuttle’s garage.

“He was very jealous” of Hayden, Parlin said.

On the night of July Fourth, Parlin said, his neighbors were setting off fireworks.

“They were partying,” Parlin said.

Parlin’s mother, Shirley Parlin, lives next to her son on Russell Raod.

“I heard fireworks, but it’s not unusual for them. They like that kind of stuff,” she said.

Shirley Parlin, who has lived on Russell Road for 11 years, said she thinks that her neighbor, Michael Spaulding, one of the victims, might have attended the July Fourth celebration.

Two other neighbors who were contacted Wednesday declined to comment.

‘IT’S SHOCKING’

Lancaster said earlier via email that his deputies had responded to the reported shooting and there “was a police-involved shooting, with one male individual deceased.”

In a statement later Wednesday morning, Lancaster said the deputies who arrived at the scene “discovered that three people had been shot to death at different locations along the Russell Road in Madison.”

“The alleged shooter returned and shot and wounded a fourth individual,” Lancaster said in the statement. “Deputies confronted the gunman and the gunman was shot and killed.”

Kim Morse, of Embden, was stopped on Russell Road by state police as they blocked the road in both directions.

Morse said Wednesday morning that she travels that way all the time.

“I know people on this road. I don’t want it to be anybody I know — I don’t want it to be anyone, but nobody I know,” Morse said. “It’s shocking. This is a small town.”

Near the Russell Road blockade, Reginald Woodman sat on the rear bumper of his Toyota pickup truck in the shade of a tree in his yard, watching all the traffic turning in his driveway.

“Ain’t much I can do about it,” he said. “Don’t want any more excitement.”

The Madison shootings are among the region’s and state’s deadliest since November 2015, when three people in Oakland were shot and killed by a gunman who ultimately shot himself.

Staff writer Colin Ellis and Portland Press Herald staff writer Dennis Hoey contributed reporting.