The investigation into a Waterville man who was accidentally shot in the face Wednesday night will be reviewed by the district attorney, police said Friday.

Dale Poulin, 31, of Ash Street, was shot while showing his hunting rifle to some friends about 9 p.m. at an apartment at 218 College Ave.

Poulin remained in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on Friday morning, according to a hospital spokeswoman. No other details of his condition could be released to nonfamily members, she said.

Police said the group was exchanging hunting stories when Poulin went outside and brought in a .270-caliber hunting rifle.

His father, Donald Poulin, of Winslow, said in a telephone interview Thursday night that although his son is unable to speak, he can respond to questions by writing on a notepad. He said his son told him he accidentally dropped the rifle and it discharged.

The bullet went through Dale Poulin’s chin and appears to have exited by his left eye, Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey said Friday. The bullet then passed through the bill of his cap and into the ceiling of the apartment.


Massey said investigative details collected in witness interviews by police don’t support Dale Poulin’s version of events.

“The investigation indicates it didn’t go off by being dropped,” Massey said Friday afternoon. “One of the last things that we need to do is sit down with the D.A. to make sure that they don’t feel there’s a possibility of a criminal charge. It doesn’t appear that there might be, but that will be a final decision by the D.A. once all the reports are in.”

Massey said he wouldn’t discuss any more details of the investigation until after final review of the case. He said detectives will complete their investigation next week and turn it over the district attorney then.

Massey said Thursday that at one point, Poulin put the barrel of the rifle under his chin and pulled the trigger.

When police went to the apartment, they found Poulin in a large pool of blood and able to communicate only by shaking his head. Massey described a grisly scene, with Poulin’s chin on the floor, and blood, teeth and skin everywhere.

Massey said police found Poulin sitting with the rifle between his legs.


Donald Poulin said Thursday night that his son was in stable condition and will need reconstructive surgery for his facial wounds.

Several attempts to reach Donald Poulin on Friday were unsuccessful.

Massey said Poulin believed the rifle was unloaded and that he had no intention of committing suicide.

He said the apartment house is not a place police often visit, but that police are familiar with the people who were there and do not suspect foul play.

When the officers spoke with people at the scene Wednesday night, they said Poulin had come to visit earlier in the night and had walked in with a bottle of whiskey, Massey said.

“It’s just one of those unfortunate things where they start drinking and they’re talking about hunting and someone goes out and gets their hunting rifle out of their vehicle and just do things with a firearm that you shouldn’t do when you’re in that kind of situation,” he said. “Alcohol and firearms don’t mix.”


Dale Poulin had been hunting earlier the day of the accident, his father said.

Poulin was taken to a Portland hospital for emergency surgery and later transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

dharlow@centralmaine.comTwitter: @Doug_Harlow

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