A Waterville police officer and a suspect were each shot during a confrontation and car chase that began Sunday afternoon with a shoplifting incident at the Walmart in Waterville and ended with an exchange of gunfire near a gas station in Canaan.

Maine State Police said Officer Timothy Hinton, whose wounds were not considered life-threatening, was taken to MaineGeneral Medical Center’s Thayer Unit in Waterville, where he was treated for gunshot wounds in both arms and released at about 4:30 p.m.

A bullet struck  the windshield of a State Police cruiser Sunday during a chase from Fairfield to Canaan.  Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

The suspect, Richard Murray-Burns, 29, of Hartland, was also taken to the Thayer Unit before being taken by a LifeFlight helicopter to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he was being treated Sunday night for multiple gunshot wounds.

Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said the incident began when Hinton stopped a car along Route 201 to question the driver about a shoplifting complaint lodged by workers at the Walmart in Waterville.

Murray-Burns allegedly fired at Hinton, who was in his cruiser at the time. Though wounded, Hinton pursued the vehicle until other police officers were able to join the chase.

McCausland said officers from several police agencies joined in the pursuit along Routes 201 and 23, before it ended at Route 2 in Canaan.

McCausland identified seven officers who fired at Murray-Burns and who may have wounded him in a shootout that took place near the Circle K gas station and convenience store.

McCausland said Murray-Burns was armed with an assault-style weapon. He could not be more specific as to the make and model of the weapon. Several police cruisers were struck by gunfire from the assault weapon, and two cruisers were so badly damaged they could not be driven.

Murray-Burns’ car, a silver, two-door Honda, was also riddled with bullets and the front windshield was blown out.

All of the police officers who were involved in the shootout, including Hinton, have been placed on administrative leave with pay — as is standard procedure in all officer-involved shootings.

McCausland identified the officers as State Troopers Eric Sucy, Rick Moody, Daniel Murray and Garret Booth; investigator Ken MacMaster of State Fire Marshal’s Office; Somerset County Deputy Sheriff Stephen Arminger; and Winslow police Officer Cameron Huggins.

An investigator walks by a car that was pockmarked with bullet holes during a shootout Sunday in Canaan. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Marc Malon, spokesman for the Office of the Maine Attorney General, said a team of investigators had been dispatched to central Maine. He noted it is the role of the AG’s office to investigate all officer-involved uses of deadly force.

Malon said the incident in Canaan is the most recent officer-involved shooting since a state trooper shot and wounded a man in Thorndike in late November. In that case, Eric Fitzpatrick, 33, of Thorndike was shot and wounded by Trooper Thomas Bureau outside Fitzpatrick’s house during an armed confrontation that began as a domestic dispute.

Malon said there have now been seven-officer involved shootings in Maine this year. In 2018, there were five shootings, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

Staff Writers Dennis Hoey and Rob Wolfe of the Portland Press Herald contributed to this report.

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