WATERVILLE — A city review has found an officer “acted within policy” when he fatally shot a Hartland man in February, while also recommending that the police department consider purchasing body cameras for future use.

Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey released the department’s incident review team report Friday evening, saying there would be no further comment by police about the report until the Attorney General’s Office has completed its investigation of the fatal shooting.

Killed in the Feb. 11 shooting was Eric J. Porter, 32, who reportedly had charged at a police cruiser with a knife before he was shot by police Officer Paul Heath, 26. Heath, who has been on the police force for 3 1/2 years, was placed on paid administrative leave following the shooting, as is standard procedure.

The report, which contains large sections that have been redacted, says police originally responded to the area of the Best Western Plus Hotel on upper Main Street for a report “of a man who was in the parking lot confronting patrons with a big knife.” After a “prolonged interaction” with the man, later identified as Porter, police tried to deescalate the situation and used “multiple deployments of nonlethal weapons.”

Massey previously said that Porter charged at a police cruiser while brandishing the knife and ran across Main Street and up the northbound exit ramp of Interstate 95 and onto the highway. Officers found Porter sitting on a guardrail still holding the knife and police couldn’t persuade him to surrender, Massey said previously.

Ultimately, Heath fired his handgun twice at Porter, according to the review, and one shot struck the man, killing him.

The review found that Heath was trained properly in the use of force, and indicates that PepperBall spray and a Taser stun gun were used by police, although their use was “not successful in this instance.” Heath’s 9mm Glock handgun was functioning properly, the review found.

The committee that reviewed the incident also discussed how “body/cruiser cameras would have been useful in his situation,” according to the report, and that “it might be beneficial for future investigations for the department to pursue the purchase of body cameras.”

“However, it was noted that body cameras would not have made a difference in the outcome of this incident,” the report states.

In conclusion, the review found “Officer Heath acted within policy and that those policies were adequate for the incident.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: