An investigation by the Maine attorney general’s office found that an Augusta police officer was justified in using deadly force against a man during a 2019 shooting.

Officer Sebastian Guptill shot and injured Robert Farrington of Augusta on Nov. 24, according to Augusta Police. Farrington, who was not fatally injured, was wanted for domestic assault and animal cruelty charges.

Farrington’s girlfriend at the time had reported to Augusta police that he had assaulted her earlier in the evening. A “temporary felony want” was issued after an investigation found probable cause that Farrington had assaulted the woman, according to the attorney general’s report.

When Guptill, along with officers Brett Lowell and Aaron Paradis, arrived at the 911 South Belfast Ave. residence where Farrington was staying, it did not appear that there was anyone at the residence, as all the lights were off.

When Guptill approached the house on foot, he noticed Farrington’s vehicle parked in the driveway, the report said. Guptill knocked on the residence door for about a minute, and cruiser camera footage shows officers attempting to make contact with Farrington for about seven minutes before returning to their vehicles.

Guptill then returned to his vehicle, while the accompanying officers recorded the events. As Guptill started to drive away from the residence, Lowell reported that a light was turned on in the house.

The officers then took up positions at the entrance and side of the house, the report stated, and when Guptill walked around to the back of the house another light turned on and off. Guptill then shined his flashlight at a glass door, and reportedly saw a curtain move and saw a man who matched Farrington’s description.

Guptill reportedly sawy Farrington holding a handgun pointed downward when he shone the light at the glass door. Guptill then stated that he saw Farrington raise his gun as if to shoot at him, and called out that Farrington had a gun, as well as calling out “Augusta police” and “drop the gun,” according to the attorney general’s report.

Guptill, believing that Farrington was going to shoot at him, fired his gun and shot at Farrington while moving out of the believed line of fire. The circumstances happened within seconds of the light turning on and off, according to the report.

Guptill reported that he believed he had been about 15 yards from Farrington when he discharged about five to seven rounds from his firearm. An investigation found that Guptill had discharged 10 rounds, one of which struck the glass door and Farrington’s left hip, while the remaining rounds hit the residence to the right side of the glass door.

Farrington was no longer standing, and the officers entered the residence and administered first aid to Farrington until emergency first responders arrived at the scene, the report stated.

Farrington was transported to a local hospital, while Guptill was not injured.

Farrington told investigators that his girlfriend at the time woke him up after telling him that there was knocking at the bedroom window. Farrington then armed himself with a Beretta 9mm semi-automatic pistol, and investigated what he believed was a robbery attempt.

Farrington said that when he looked out his front window, he could see vehicles that did not have any lights on, and did not realize that the people at the property were police.

Cruiser footage shows that there were lights on at the residence by the time that Farrington was investigating the knocking, and that the police vehicles were clearly illuminated by the external lighting and headlights of one of the cruisers.

The report, signed by Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey, found that there was reasonable evidence to suggest that Guptill believed that Farrington would use deadly force against him, therefore justifying the use of deadly force in self-defense.

Avatar photo

Leela Stockley

Leela Stockley is an alumna of the University of Maine. She was raised in northern Maine, and loves her cat Wesley, her puppy Percy and staying active in the Maine outdoors.