Had it not been for Alyssa Goulet’s quick thinking and her boyfriend’s protective instincts, Norman J. Strobel’s face could have been the last one Goulet ever saw.

It was before 11 p.m. Saturday when Goulet, 28, heard a knock on the door of her mother’s cabin on Winifred Lane in Casco, where she was staying with her boyfriend, Jason Almeida, 32.

When Goulet peered through the kitchen window, she saw Strobel, her mother’s abusive ex-boyfriend, staring back. In his hand was a 9 mm handgun, pointed directly at her.

“She would have been shot, without a doubt,” said Sandra Goulet, 64, whose breakup with Strobel in July sent him into a months-long search for revenge. “(Alyssa) ducked down the minute she saw Norman with the gun. And then (Jason) jumped on top of her.”

Together on the floor, the young couple began crawling toward a nearby bedroom for cover.

“That’s when all the shooting started,” Sandra Goulet said.

Almeida was shot four times by Strobel, whose unrelenting pursuit of Sandra Goulet in defiance of a protection from abuse order had sent him to jail multiple times since the order was first approved July 5. Sandra Goulet and her family feared Strobel was bent on carrying out one of his countless threats to kill her.

Almeida, of Middletown, Rhode Island, has been in the intensive care unit of Central Maine Medical Center since Saturday, where he has undergone multiple surgeries. He is facing a long and difficult recovery, Sandra Goulet said in a brief telephone interview.

Although Almeida is breathing on his own and is conscious and alert, he is not out of the woods yet, she said.

Almeida also does not have medical insurance, and as an out-of-state resident receiving care in Maine, his bills are likely to be significant.

A family friend has set up an online fundraising effort through Gofundme to defray the medical costs while both Alyssa and Almeida are out of work during his recovery. So far they have raised more than $10,000 of the $20,000 goal.

Almeida is able to communicate by writing, and according to his messages, his thoughts during the violent encounter were always about Alyssa.

“All I could think of laying on that cabin floor was that he was gonna come in and kill you too and there was nothing I’d be able to do at that point,” Almeida wrote.

“The gun was being aimed at me to cause my mother pain and sorrow,” Alyssa Goulet wrote in a Facebook message.

Strobel had been released from Cumberland County Jail seven days before the shooting after he served 60 days of an 80-day sentence for violating his probation, which was part of an earlier sentence for violating the protection from abuse order, according to court records and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, which operates the jail.

Strobel, who was kicked out of the home he shared with Sandra Goulet in July after he threatened to bind her hands and feet and burn her alive in the home, had been storing some of his belongings with Richard J. Diekema Sr., 55, at a trailer home Diekema rented in nearby Naples. Strobel moved in with Diekema after being released from jail.

Sandra Goulet said she knew Strobel was coming for her last week because he had stolen her two beloved dogs, which he had previously threatened to use as leverage to control and intimidate her.

In apparent preparation for Strobel’s retaliation, she had stayed with a friend Saturday night, and was in the presence of a Cumberland County sheriff’s deputy.

After the shooting at the cabin around 11 p.m., police said Strobel and another man who was with him fled in a red pickup truck similar to one that Diekema owned.

Around that time, Strobel called one of the people with whom Sandra Goulet was staying. During the conversation, Strobel said he believed he had just killed Alyssa and Alyssa’s boyfriend.

Police used his phone call to pinpoint Strobel’s location, and around 4 a.m. Sunday, nearly five hours after the first shooting, six deputies approached Diekema’s home. Inside they found Diekema already shot dead. Strobel then confronted them, and after an exchange of gunfire, two deputies shot and killed Strobel.

Sandra Goulet said Wednesday that she is still in shock and feels numb from the ordeal, which now has stretched on for more than six months.

“It was just a downward spiral and I couldn’t seem to get out,” she said.

 


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