Maine State Police and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office vehicles are parked Sunday near a house that is being searched on Hankerson Road in Chelsea. Frank Foss Jr. was killed by police nearby after pointing a gun at a member of the state police tactical team, according to officials. Ashley Allen/Kennebec Journal file

DRESDEN — The Dresden man whom police fatally shot Sunday in Chelsea had been seeking an armed confrontation with members of law enforcement, even as he evaded their efforts to find him since early July, officials said.

Frank Foss Jr. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office photo

The daylong manhunt for Frank Foss Jr., which began Saturday in Dresden and ended with his death, was the latest in a series of searches for the 28-year-old in Lincoln and Piscataquis counties in recent weeks.

Foss was wanted for violating the conditions of his release and having firearms after he was prohibited from possessing them.

Searches of Foss’ home and his girlfriend’s SUV earlier this month showed he had obtained at least four guns, several boxes of ammunition and supplies needed for an extended camping trip, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

The details of what prompted members of law enforcement to pursue Foss had not previously been made public.

Information developed Sunday by the Maine State Police and FBI indicated Foss had traveled to Chelsea and was at or near a house on Hankerson Road. The house is owned by one of his extended relatives, according to municipal records.


The state police searched the property Sunday under a warrant obtained by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

Foss was later shot and killed in a wooded area near the house after he pointed a gun at a member of the state police tactical team, according to officials.


Three weeks earlier, Lincoln County deputies had gone to Foss’ house on Calls Hill Road in Dresden to investigate a report that Foss had gotten his hands on a gun.

A 2020 felony conviction in Piscataquis County on a charge of domestic violence criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon meant Foss, a U.S. Army veteran, was no longer allowed to have firearms. He was accused of killing a cat and shooting at his wife and children while intoxicated.

Also in 2020, Foss was convicted on two other felony-level charges: Theft of a firearm and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, after a search of the shack in which he was living on Calls Hill Road turned up four stolen guns.


In May, Foss pleaded guilty to a charge of domestic violence assault for an incident that took place in December 2022. Under a deferred disposition agreement, his sentencing was delayed to May 2024. In the meantime, Foss was to undergo evaluation for substance abuse, with treatment, if necessary; refrain from drinking alcohol; submit to random searches; and refrain from criminal conduct.

When deputies arrived at Foss’ house July 2, they heard several gunshots from the woods near the home, but they did not find Foss.

They secured a search warrant for the house, where they found evidence Foss had obtained a gun. An arrest warrant was issued on charges that Foss had violated the conditions of his release and was in possession of a firearm as a prohibited person.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, family members said Foss and his girlfriend might have been traveling to an address in Milo. Law enforcement officials also learned Foss might have shot several holes into his girlfriend’s SUV when it was in Dresden.

Milo police and deputies from the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office did not find Foss at the Milo address, but in speaking to his girlfriend, learned Foss had been there and had hidden in the woods to avoid arrest. They found the SUV with bullet holes and impounded it.

On July 5, Lincoln County detectives obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and found three rifles, boxes of ammunition, an empty pistol case and supplies that suggested an extended camping trip was planned. They also documented the bullet holes in the vehicle.


The following week, Lincoln County officials received information that Foss might have been at or near a house in Pittston, but he was not found there.

On Saturday, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, officials obtained a search warrant after learning Foss had returned to the area of his house on Calls Hill Road. Because of statements Foss had made indicating he was looking for an armed confrontation with police, the Sheriff’s Office requested help from the state police.

For several hours, at least three roads — including Calls Hill Road — in a heavily wooded area of Dresden were shut down while the search was underway. Later that day, after the search was suspended, the Sheriff’s Office identified Foss as the target of the search and, in a post on its Facebook page, asked the public for help in locating him.

“We have no indication there is any immediate danger to the public at this time,” the post read.

By midday, a heavy police presence was reported in the area of Hankerson Road in Chelsea, with a report of shots fired.

A statement released Sunday evening to the news media from the Maine Department of Public Safety said Foss had been shot and killed by state police Detective Scott Duff.




On Wednesday, Lt. Michael Murphy of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office said the incident remained under investigation, and he could not comment on how Foss traveled from Dresden to Chelsea or whether anyone would be charged.

Maine State Police and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office vehicles are parked Sunday on Hankerson Road in Chelsea. Ashley Allen/Kennebec Journal file

While the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office provided no specific details about Foss’ apparent wish for an armed confrontation, records show he had made suggestive comments at the time of his December arrest on the domestic violence assault charge.

In his affidavit, Deputy Samuel Alexander wrote that while he was taking Foss to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, Foss began talking about his body armor.

“Frank made the comment of something along the lines of, that a .308 will go through that vest just like a 9 mm and we both know that,” Alexander wrote, noting he would check his body camera footage for the exact wording. “At the jail Frank said something along the lines of that my brown vest and tan shirt can (sic) stop 3 7.62 rounds, can’t it. Then what are you going to do? Run? Hide?”


Attempts to reach the residents of the Hankerson Road address this week have been unsuccessful.

When reached earlier this week, Foss’ girlfriend said, “He was my husband and that’s all you’re getting.”

The Kennebec Journal is not identifying her because she is a victim of domestic violence.

On Monday, Foss’ lawyer, Lynn Madison, said his client was a graduate of Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale and a military veteran.

“His death, particularly in the manner it happened, is tragic,” Madison said.

As the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office continues its investigation, Duff is on administrative leave, a standard practice after any officer-involved shooting while the Office of the Maine Attorney General conducts an investigation.


Duff has been involved in two other officer-involved shootings over the past decade.

In June 2014, Duff shot and wounded Jeffrey Barnard during an armed confrontation in Ellsworth after a 20-hour standoff, during which Barnard fired several rounds from a rifle and threw a Molotov cocktail at officers outside his camper.

The investigation that followed concluded it was reasonable for Duff to believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect himself and others within range of the weapon Barnard possessed.

In June 2022, Duff was one of three law enforcement officials investigated following the shooting death of Peter Pfister, an East Blue Hill man who was armed and experiencing a mental health episode after seriously injuring his mother.

The investigation that followed concluded Duff, state police Cpl. Caleb McGary and Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy Dylan Hall acted in defense of themselves and other officers at the scene and Pfister’s mother when they shot Pfister.

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