FARMINGTON — The Farmington police officer who shot and killed a 28-year-old U.S. Army veteran had not yet entered the 18-week training program at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, the police chief said this week.

Police Chief Jack Peck said Officer Ryan Rosie, who shot Justin Crowley-Smilek in front of the Farmington municipal building on U.S. Route 2 Saturday morning, had been hired as a full-time police officer in June.

Rosie graduated Lake Superior State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2009. He was set to enter the academy training program in January. Rosie has experience as a reserve officer and a dispatcher before being hired full time, the chief said.

Crowley-Smilek was shot multiple times. Rosie was carrying a Taser, but did not use it.

“He has gone through the pre-service training, a 100-hour course,” Peck said. “Then we put him through a six-week training class. Then we have online training classes that are mandated by the state, so it wasn’t like we just threw him in a cruiser and said here’s a gun, have a good day.”

Peck said Rosie had been trained in the use of firearms and a Taser.

“The guy was coming at him with a knife, threatening to kill him,” Peck said, when asked why Rosie did not use the Taser. “Deadly force was needed in his case because he was using deadly force against the officer. If somebody is threatening me with deadly force, I’m going to use deadly force to respond in kind.”

Peck said Rosie and Crowley-Smilek were fairly close to one another when the shots were fired.

Crowley-Smilek, a U.S. Army Ranger, served four months in Afghanistan before his discharge under honorable conditions in June 2007.

Family members and his girlfriend said he had slipped into paranoia and delusion in recent weeks from the affects of post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder. He also suffered extreme back pain from a 30-foot fall from a helicopter in Afghanistan, they said.

Crowley-Smilek’s father, Michael Smilek, of Farmington, and Kary Laban, a licensed clinical counselor who treated Crowley-Smilek, said they did not believe he was suicidal.

Crowley-Smilek’s girlfriend for the past year, Destiny Cook, also of Farmington, said he had left his watch, his wallet, his cellphone and his therapy dog at his apartment, which indicated to her that he did not plan to return and that he wanted to die.

But Kelly Wescott, a friend of the Crowley family from Portland, Ore., speaking for the family Wednesday, said family members do not believe that Crowley-Smilek was bent on losing his life that morning.

She said that his mother, Ruth Crowley, had not seen her son in two years and that his sister, Mary Elise, had not seen him since last summer. She said they are a close family and texted and spoke often with one another.

“They do not believe and will never believe that he went there with the intention to die,” Wescott said. “He went there for help.”

According to Peck, Crowley-Smilek went Saturday morning to the town offices, where the Police Department is. He used a call box mounted on the building and asked to see a police officer. Previous newspaper reports said he called from a telephone.

Rosie came outside and the confrontation ensued, according to the Attorney General’s Office, which is investigating the case.

Peck said Rosie is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

“I feel for the family, I’ve met with them. It is a terrible tragedy,” he said. “I feel for the loss of their son.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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