NEWPORT — A man fatally shot by a Penobscot County sheriff’s deputy during a confrontation earlier this month at a campground died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds to his torso, the state medical examiner’s office said Friday.

A spokesperson for the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Lindsey Chasteen, said in an email that the manner of death for 35-year-old Stephen Bossom was ruled a homicide. The autopsy found that he sustained organ damage and severe loss of blood, Chasteen said.

She said the office also performed a toxicology report on Bossom, as is standard with autopsies, but could not release the results without permission from his family.

A message left Friday with Bossom’s mother, Susan Bossom, a Virginia resident, was not immediately returned.

The state attorney general’s office is leading the investigation into the shooting, as it does with all cases involving use of lethal force by law enforcement. A spokesperson for the Office of the Maine Attorney General, Danna Hayes, declined to discuss the autopsy results, saying the office doesn’t comment on pending investigations.

It does, however, provide material relating to an ongoing investigation and within a week of the July 15 shooting released a video taken by a witness to the shooting at the Sebasticook Lake Campground.


The video, recorded from behind Bossom, showed him arguing with officers while holding a handgun in his right hand, saying that they were not the “real” police. The video shows Bossom standing next to a motor home and the person recording the video says there are two officers standing on the other side of the motor home with their guns pointed at Bossom. The officers were obscured by the motor home.

Bossom goes on to say, “If you want to shoot me, shoot me,” and raises his gun toward police. A long gun is seen pointing out from behind the motor home and a single shot is discharged at Bossom before the video ends abruptly.

Authorities identified Deputy Kenneth York as the one who shot Bossom.

Bossom had been staying at the campground with his wife and daughter for several months, his mother previously said. The couple was working there part time in exchange for having a free site for their camper. An owner of the campground has said that Bossom told her to call 911 because of a social media post about an armed man at the campground.

The family had been traveling the country in a renovated vintage Airstream camper, and had hoped to stop at every national park. Before traveling, the family had been living in Colorado, and Bossom had worked as a youth minister. His mother described him as a skilled craftsman who was dedicated to helping others.

Susan Bossom had emailed the Morning Sentinel late Thursday night inquiring about the investigation into her son’s death. She said authorities had not provided answers to several questions the family has about the shooting, such as whether investigators have information about the threat that Bossom had warned about.

She also said it’s not clear if her son’s cellphone was seized by authorities.

“Truth is so very important, and we want the whole truth to come out,” she said.

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