The Maine Attorney General’s Office is investigating a police shooting in Lovell early Wednesday morning that has left one person hospitalized.

Dennis Buffington, 31, of Nuthatch Road in Lovell, was shot by Oxford County Sheriff’s Cpl. George Cayer, who has been with the department eight years and in law enforcement for more than 30 years.

Buffington was wounded and is being treated at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, said Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant.

Cayer has been placed on administrative leave with pay while the state investigation and a separate internal affairs probe by his department are conducted, which is customary when an officer uses deadly force.

A person inside a house at 52 Nuthatch Road called 911 to report a man with a gun creating a disturbance just before 1 a.m.

Oxford County Sheriff’s deputies responded and requested assistance from Maine State Police troopers.

Gallant said it wasn’t clear whether the shooting happened at Buffington’s house, which is on that road, or at a neighbor’s where he had been that night. He would not say whether Buffington was pointing his gun at officers or someone else and said details of the investigation would be provided by the Attorney General’s Office. Officers are justified in using deadly force if they reasonably believe they or someone else is in serious danger and deadly force is necessary to stop the threat.

The officers approached the house, which is on a dead-end dirt road, and shortly thereafter, police fired shots, said Lt. Walter Grzyb, commander of State Police Troop B, which covers large portions of Androscoggin, Cumberland, and Oxford counties.

“When we went to the location, we encountered a person creating quite a disturbance,” Grzyb said. “Things started to unfold pretty rapidly. … Police did use gunfire on him.” Grzyb said Buffington had fired a gun at some point during the incident.

Buffington was taken to Bridgton Memorial Hospital by ambulance and then flown by LifeFlight helicopter to CMMC in Lewiston.

Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office and the state police spent the morning collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses, both civilian and law enforcement, he said.

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

[email protected]

Twitter: @Mainehenchman

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