PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The Presque Isle police officer and the man who was shot during an incident near the McDonald’s restaurant on Main Street on Saturday evening have been identified.
Derek J. Sam, 29, of Presque Isle reportedly was acting suspiciously shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday when police received multiple calls about the situation, the Presque Isle Police Department stated in a news release Sunday morning.
One of those calls indicated that Sam had a knife and appeared to be bleeding.
Officer Lucas Hafford made contact with Sam in a parking lot near 631 Main St., just down the road from the McDonald’s.
During a confrontation with Sam, Hafford ordered him to drop the knife, but Sam did not comply, and the officer deployed his Taser in an effort to stop Sam from approaching him with the knife, the news release said.
The Taser, however, was ineffective, and Sam, still armed with the knife, continued to aggressively approach Hafford who, after several more commands to stop and drop the knife, shot and wounded Sam, the news release said.
A 17-second cellphone video apparently taken by a witness to the incident has been posted on YouTube. It shows a man in a light-colored shirt rapidly approaching a police officer, who after backing up a few steps, fires about three shots. The man then falls down to the ground.
Sam was taken to The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle for treatment and then flown by LifeFlight to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.
A nursing supervisor said around noon Sunday that no information about Sam’s condition was available, however, a Presque Isle police sergeant said that the department had been told Sunday morning that Sam was in critical condition at that time.
He said the hospital was asked to notify the department of any change in Sam’s condition and that as of 5 p.m., that had not occurred.
Under state law, the Maine attorney general’s office is charged with investigating shootings involving local, county and state police.
Timothy Feeley, spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said Sunday that no statements will be released at this time.
Hafford has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of that investigation, Presque Isle Police Chief Matt Irwin confirmed Sunday afternoon.
Sam was arrested by Presque Isle police three times in the past year on charges including theft, disorderly conduct and domestic violence assault, according to a criminal background check.
He was found guilty of stealing from a grocery store last May and was arrested and charged with domestic violence and criminal mischief last December. In April, Sam was found guilty of criminal mischief related to those charges and sentenced to 32 days in jail.
Sam also has a record of minor crimes, according to the Bangor Daily News archives. He was fined $100 for harassment by telephone in 2012, and fined $100 in 2010 for unlawful use of bait in artificial lure only water.
BDN writer Anthony Brino contributed to this report.