A Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputy acted in self defense and the defense of others while using deadly force in response to a Dec. 18, 2020 incident in Jefferson, according to Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey.
Deputy David Bellows shot and killed Jacob E. McClure, 41, during an armed confrontation at McClure’s home. Deputies responded to a 911 call from the residence and entered when they witnessed an ongoing assault.
In its factual summary, the attorney general’s report documented a narrative of the events leading up to the shooting.
On Dec. 18, 2020, at 12:25 a.m., Lincoln County Communications Center received an open 911 call, one during which the caller does not speak or respond to the call receiver.
After hearing a verbal argument and “what sounded like a physical assault taking place,” dispatcher sent officers to the scene, according to the report.
Sgt. Matthew Day, Deputy David Bellows, and Deputy Gerald Winslow arrived at 12:58 a.m. After checking several residences, Sgt. Day saw a lighted open sign at Sensei Sensei, a medical marijuana store across the road.
Day drove to the store and observed lights on in the house next to it, and an altercation taking place between McClure and a woman. Day entered the residence to stop it. Bellows and Winslow also responded to the house.
The woman denied calling 911, but the officers confirmed that the call was made by her cell phone.
McClure asked the deputies to leave before walking down a hallway into a locked room. From there he told the deputies they needed to leave and said he and the woman were engaging in “psychological theater.”
Winslow breached the locked door, and was encountered by McClure shouldering a gun that Winslow later described as a short-barreled AR-15-style rifle.
Winslow and Day retreated down the hall. Bellows, who was in the kitchen with the woman, saw them unholstering their weapons and unholstered his, as well.
McClure attempted to get the woman to come toward the now open door. When she complied, despite his warnings, Bellows repositioned to the opposite side of the hallway entrance where he saw McClure in the doorway holding a rifle at waist level with the barrel of the gun pointed at him.
Bellows fired his handgun and fatally injured McClure.
It was determined that the rifle was loaded with 27 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber, and McClure’s right index finger was on the trigger when he was shot by Bellows.
Thirty-five other firearms and a large assortment of ammunition were also found in the room. A post mortem examination and autopsy later in the day by the office of the chief medical examiner showed that McClure sustained five gunshot wounds.
McClure’s blood alcohol level at the time of the examination was .198. The legal limit to be considered under the influence in Maine is .08
Under Maine law, a person, including a law enforcement officer, is authorized to use deadly force when they reasonably believe it is necessary for self defense, or the defense of others against the imminent use of unlawful deadly force.
The report concluded that when Bellows shot McClure he observed that McClure had a rifle at waist level pointed at him, and reasonably believed that McClure was about to use unlawful deadly force against him, and the woman in the residence. Additionally, there were other officers in close proximity to McClure
The deputies clearly identified themselves as law enforcement and directed McClure repeatedly to drop the gun. None of the deputies were injured.
McClure owned and operated a medical marijuana shop, Sensei Sensei, at 50 Rockland Road in Jefferson, next to his home. The shop has since been purchased and rebranded as Cloud 9 Medicinal.