The death of a Blue Hill man who allegedly confronted officers responding to a domestic disturbance early Tuesday morning is the first case of a civilian being fatally shot by police on the Blue Hill peninsula in recent memory.
Three officers from the state police and Hancock County Sheriff’s Office fatally shot Peter Pfister, 27, after the officers responded to a report of a woman being held against her will at an East Blue Hill home around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Pfister was reportedly in the home on Curtis Cove Road with firearms and, after an armed confrontation, three officers shot him, state police said in a statement.
Both state police and the state attorney general’s office declined to release any further details on the shooting Wednesday, saying that the attorney general’s office was involved in an ongoing investigation into Pfister’s death.
It is not clear what happened during the confrontation.
The attorney general’s office investigates every instance of deadly use of force by police to determine if the actions by law enforcement were justified. Among the available reports going back to 1995, there are no fatal shootings by police on the peninsula’s towns of Surry, Blue Hill, Sedgwick, Brooklin, Brooksville, Castine and Penobscot.
This could be the first in the peninsula’s history, though the attorney general’s office could not officially confirm that.
The woman at the home, who was not identified by officials, was brought to the hospital Tuesday with injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening.
The incident appears to have lasted more than an hour. Though several neighbors declined to comment on the shooting, one man who lived down the street said he woke up around 4 a.m. Tuesday to a host of police cruisers lined up along the road.
Law enforcement officials were still at the home in East Blue Hill, a small village off the beaten track in town that’s mostly inhabited by locals, until about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. There were no signs of police activity there late Wednesday afternoon.
The attorney general office has 180 days to issue a determination on the fatal shooting. That report will include a detailed narrative of what unfolded, said Danna Hayes, an attorney general spokesperson.
The actions of police officers in the more than 100 cases reviewed by the attorney general’s office between 1990 and 2018 were found to be justified.