WALDBORO — The Maine Attorney General’s Office has cleared a Waldoboro police officer in a shooting a year ago that killed a 57-year-old man at his home.

The Jan. 22, 2017, shooting occurred after Jon Alspaugh pulled a handgun and shot at Waldoboro police Officer John Lash as he responded to a report that the man had assaulted his wife and threatened to kill her.

Alspaugh died from gunshot wounds to the head and torso, according to an autopsy done by the state Medical Examiner’s Office. The attorney general’s report determined that Alspaugh was shot six times.

The report detailed the following sequence of events that led up to the shooting:

The Waldoboro home where Jon Alspaugh was fatally shot in January 2017. Staff photo by Stephen Betts

On Jan. 22, Waldoboro police received a report around 1 a.m. that Alspaugh was assaulting his wife. The dispatcher could hear a woman in the background saying “please stop, please stop.”

When Lash arrived, Alspaugh’s wife was outside the house and told Lash her husband had assaulted and threatened to kill her.

Lash entered the house and found Alspaugh at the top of the stairs. When Alspaugh came down the stairs and approached Lash, he pulled out a handgun and fired three shots, striking Lash once.

Lash returned fire and the 57-year-old Alspaugh fell to the floor, fatally wounded.

Lash, whose bulletproof vest stopped Alspaugh’s bullet, suffered only bruised ribs.

“It was reasonable for Officer Lash to believe it necessary to use deadly force to protect himself from further injury or death. These conclusions are based on an extensive investigation. All the facts and circumstances point to the conclusion that Officer Lash acted in self-defense,” according to the report signed by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Marchese.

Alspaugh had filed for divorce less than two days before the shooting. They had been married for 19 years.

Another family member was in the home when the shooting occurred, but no one else was injured.

The Alspaughs had moved to the area around 2000. He had worked at FMC’s carrageenan plant in Rockland from 2013 through 2015 before being hired in November 2015 by the city as its assistant director of the wastewater treatment plant.

In an interview last year, treatment plant director Terry Pinto expressed shock that Alspaugh had committed such violent acts.

“He was calm, cool and collected. He was a nice person” and never spoke ill of his wife or the divorce situation, Pinto said.

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