The man who died following a standoff with police in Mexico on Sunday has been identified as Steven R. Piirainen, 52, of South Paris, a man with a lengthy history of arrests and incarceration.

Piirainen died after exchanging gunfire with Maine State Police Trooper Paul Casey and Mexico Reserve Officer Dean Benson, according to a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

It was not clear if the man was killed by police bullets or killed himself, said spokesman Stephen McCausland.

The Maine Attorney General’s Office is investigating the shooting, as it does in all uses of deadly force by police, and investigators were at the scene of the shooting until just before dawn Monday, McCausland said.

Piirainen allegedly stole a pickup truck in Paris and led police on a chase that ended at about 7 p.m. Sunday at a convenience store in downtown Mexico, police said. He was found dead inside the pickup truck, which was outside the Circle K store on Main Street, a short time before 11 p.m.

McCausland said the cause of death will be determined by the state Medical Examiner’s Office.

No police officers were injured in the incident at the gas station.

McCausland said Piirainen remained inside the pickup truck during the standoff. Officers from the state police, the Mexico and Rumford police departments, and deputies from the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office surrounded the pickup truck and closed off the downtown area to the public.

Piirainen lived in Oxford until recently, when he moved in with his parents in South Paris.

His criminal record includes convictions for burglary, felony theft, domestic violence and aggravated assault and he faced pending charges of theft, burglary to a motor vehicle and criminal trespass, according to the State Bureau of Identification.

Over the course of his adult life, Piirainen had been sentenced to a total of more than 14 years in prison for different offenses.

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @Mainehenchman

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