DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — The man suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend in Parkman was unarmed when he climbed through a window of her house but took the handgun she fired at him and shot her with it, according to a law enforcement official.
Robert Burton was wounded by Stephanie Ginn Gebo before he turned the gun on her, Piscataquis County Sheriff John Goggin told WVII TV on Thursday.
Burton, 38, is wanted for murder in connection with Ginn Gebo’s death. He has been the subject of an intense manhunt since her body was discovered in her home on June 5.
“As he was climbing through the window that night, his would-be victim had a handgun and she shot at him,” Goggin said in the interview with the Bangor TV station. “He wasn’t armed at that time. She wounded him slightly, they got in a tussle over the gun and he just lost it. He got the gun away from her and he shot her and he killed her.”
Details about how Ginn Gebo died had not been released by investigators before the interview.
Asked on Friday if there were more details he could share with the public, Goggin said he had been told by the Maine attorney general’s office not to comment further on the case.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Marchese said Friday that she would not confirm the accuracy of what Goggin said in the interview.
“We have spoken to the sheriff and I believe he understands he should not have said what he did,” Marchese said when asked if Goggin faced disciplinary action because of the interview.
“We’re hoping in the long run that he will make that final mistake, and that we will be ready when he does that,” Goggin said, later adding that he believes if Burton is cornered, “I think he would choose to shoot his way out of that situation, rather than take a chance of going back to prison for the rest of his life.”
Burton has a lengthy criminal record that includes spending more than 10 years in prison for domestic violence incidents.
Goggin said Friday that multiple law enforcement agencies continue to search for Burton, who has been sighted at least three times while on the run.
“We have a lot of people involved in the search — game wardens, state police, and us,” Goggin said. “It’s not a small area.”
Maine State Police spokesman Stephen McCausland said in an email Friday the most recent confirmed sighting of Burton occurred on July 6 around noon at a camp on Point Road in Guilford. A photo of Burton was captured by a nearby home monitoring system.
Goggin and McCausland warned anyone visiting the area not to leave anything behind in camps or campgrounds that Burton might steal or make use of, including food, boats and other watercraft and camping gear.
Burton is considered armed and dangerous. He is 5-foot-11, about 180 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. He sometimes wears glasses and last was seen wearing camouflage clothing and carrying a dark-colored backpack. He has two very noticeable tattoos on the back of his hands, a shamrock or clover on his left hand and the word “Outlaw” on his right.
Those with information about Burton’s whereabouts are asked to call state police at 973-3700 or 911. A reward of more than $3,300 is being offered for information leading to his arrest.