Maine’s attorney general has determined that a Maine State Police sergeant acted lawfully when he shot at a Cushing man last August after a domestic violence assault in Jefferson.

Shane Prior, 34, shot his ex-girlfriend in Jefferson, then fired his gun when police pulled him over — leading police officers to fire back. Prior died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head and not from one of the police officer’s gunshots, according a news release Friday afternoon from the attorney general.

“Attorney General Janet T. Mills concludes that at the time Sgt. Jason Madore shot at Mr. Prior, he reasonably believed that Mr. Prior presented an imminent threat of unlawful deadly force against himself and others,” the news release says. “It was reasonable for Sgt. Madore to believe it necessary to use deadly force to protect himself and any other persons within range of Mr. Prior and his weapon. Sgt. Madore was also aware that Mr. Prior had shot his former domestic partner a short time prior to Mr. Prior’s encounter with Sgt. Madore and other officers.”

The attorney general reviews all cases in which Maine police officers use deadly force.

According to the attorney general’s office, police went to Jefferson on Aug. 15 after learning that Prior had shot his former girlfriend in the arm with a .45-caliber handgun.

Investigators determined that Prior and his former girlfriend, Michelle Creamer, had split up recently, and that Prior got angry when he learned she had begun a relationship with another man, according to the news release.

Creamer was staying at the home on Somerville Road with her two children, and on the night of Aug. 15, Prior first called her, then went to the home and got into an altercation with her.

At some point, he pulled out his gun and shot her in the arm, according to the news release. After she fled into the home and Prior unsuccessfully tried to break in, he left in a tan-colored pickup truck and was pulled over by police moments later.

One police officer “shouted commands for the driver, later determined to be Mr. Prior, to show his hands and get out of the vehicle,” the news released stated. “Within seconds, there was a gunshot from within the vehicle. Sgt. Madore was outside his cruiser, which was behind and to the left of Mr. Prior’s vehicle. Hearing the sound of a gunshot, observing muzzle flash, and hearing a round going through a wooded area, he believed that Mr. Prior was firing at him and/or the other officers. Sgt. Madore fired several rounds at Mr. Prior.”

When the officers heard no further activity from Prior’s car, a tactical team approached the car and found him dead, with a handgun in his hand and a wound in his head.

“The investigation included an autopsy, which disclosed that none of the rounds fired by Sgt. Madore struck Mr. Prior, but that Mr. Prior shot himself in the head with his own pistol,” the news release indicated.