PRESQUE ISLE – Police say a Maine man who was shot over the weekend after approaching an officer with a knife has died from his injuries.

WABI-TV reports Eastern Maine Medical Center officials informed police that 29-year-old Derek Sam of Presque Isle died early Tuesday.

The confrontation Saturday night started with police responding to a report of an erratic motorist. They say first responders found Sam armed with a knife, which he refused to drop.

The police chief says an officer tried to use a stun gun but it malfunctioned, and that the officer fired when Sam continued to approach with the weapon. The attorney general’s office is investigating the shooting.

The incident began at 5:54 p.m. Saturday when police received reports about a man acting suspiciously near the McDonald’s restaurant on Main Street. The caller told police that the man appeared to be bleeding.

Officer Lucas Hafford responded and made contact with Sam in a parking lot near 631 Main St. When Hafford ordered Sam to put down a knife he was holding, Sam refused to comply. Hafford used his Taser in an effort to prevent him from approaching him, but the device failed to stop Sam from “aggressively” advancing on the officer, according to news release.

After giving him several more commands to drop the knife, Hafford shot and wounded Sam, police said.

Sam was initially taken to The Aroostook Medical Center for treatment before being flown to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.


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