State clears police officer in shooting that killed Waldoboro man

Posted:  Saturday, January 27, 2018 - 5:00pm

WALDOBORO — The Maine Attorney General's Office has cleared a Waldoboro police officer in a January 2017 shooting of a 57-year-old man at his home, according to a news release from Police Chief Bill Labombarde.

The shooting occurred on Jan. 22, 2107, after Waldoboro Police Officer John Lash responded to a report that Jon Alspaugh had assaulted his wife and threatened to kill her. Alspaugh then pulled a handgun and shot at Lash who returned fire.

The autopsy report released by the Maine Medical Examiner’s Office, stated that Alspaugh died from gunshot wounds to the head and torso. The attorney general's report determined that Alspaugh was shot six times.

At approximately 1 a.m. on Jan. 22, 2017, Lash and Sgt. Jamie Wilson of the Waldoboro Police Department were dispatched to a residence on River Bend Road for a report that Alspaugh was assaulting his wife. During the 911 call, the dispatcher could hear a woman in the background saying "please stop, please stop," according to the police report.

Lash was the first to arrive on scene and met with Alspaugh’s wife outside of their home where she disclosed that her husband had assaulted her and threatened to kill her. Sgt. Wilson arrived on scene moments later.

Lash entered the residence and called out for Alspaugh, who was standing at the top of the stairs. Alspaugh answered and came down the stairs towards Lash. When Alspaugh was within arm's length of Lash, Alspaugh pulled out a handgun and fired three shots at the officer striking him once in the torso, according to the police report.

Lash returned fire and Alspaugh fell to the floor, fatally wounded.

Lash was transported to Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta where he was treated and released. He was wearing his bulletproof vest at the time of the incident and suffered only minor abrasions and bruising to his ribs.

“Lash’s ballistic vest absorbed the brunt of the impact,” said Labomdarde in a news release issued the same morning of the shooting.

"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.

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