Gunman shot and killed in police standoff at burning home, man unaccounted for

Leein Hinkley, 43, was released on bail just three days before police shooting

Gustaf Kilander
Washington DC
Saturday 15 June 2024 20:07 BST
Maine police announce gunman shot and killed in police standoff at burning home

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

A gunman in Auburn, Maine has been shot and killed by state police after trying to break into a home that was later set on fire.

The deceased suspect was identified as Leein Hinkley, 43, who had been released on $1,500 bail for previous domestic violence charges just three days before ending up in the standoff with police.

A 911 call was made by a woman at 12.57am from a home on Russell Avenue, Auburn Deputy Police Chief Timothy Cougle said during a press conference on Saturday. Gunshots could be heard in the background of the 911 call.

“She reported that her significant other was in a fight with a male subject trying to break into the residence and that he was armed with a gun,” Cougle said.

Police evidence markers are placed next to shell casings in front of home in Auburn, Maine. A suspect was shot and killed by police
Police evidence markers are placed next to shell casings in front of home in Auburn, Maine. A suspect was shot and killed by police (AP)

The other man is unaccounted for, Cougle said, and the woman fled the residence through a window.

At 1.09am, police found the woman hiding on Russell Avenue. The home she had fled was on fire and yelling was coming from inside.

The woman identified the man who had been trying to break into her home as Hinkley.

When police moved towards the burning home, the suspect fired shots, and a Maine State Police tactical team was called into assist, said Cougle. A second building then caught fire.

Auburn firefighters hose down the remains of a home in Auburn, Maine, early Saturday. The home went up in flames during a standoff with police
Auburn firefighters hose down the remains of a home in Auburn, Maine, early Saturday. The home went up in flames during a standoff with police (AP)

Hinkley fled the fire, taking refuge in a neighboring garage, with the homeowner alerting officers to the break in. Before he could be apprehended, Hinkley left the garage and made his way onto another home’s rooftop, brandishing a firearm.

State Police Colonel William Ross said that Hinkley was shot and killed by members of the tactical team at about 5.36am.

As per standard practice, the two officers involved in the shooting are being placed on administrative leave.

The Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit is investigating the “underlying” criminal conduct and the Office of the Attorney General will be investigating the police-involved shooting, Ross said.

Hinkley was released on bail on 12 June. He had been in custody for a probation violation following a 2011 conviction for domestic violence, elevated aggravated assault, as well as a more recent arrest for domestic violence.

Auburn firefighters hose down the remains of a home in Auburn, Maine, early Saturday after a police shooting. The suspect was recently released on bail
Auburn firefighters hose down the remains of a home in Auburn, Maine, early Saturday after a police shooting. The suspect was recently released on bail (AP)

He was at first held without bail on the probation violation.

“Over the objection of the district attorney's office, the court reduced his bail to $1,500 concurrent with conditions including house arrest at a residence in Lewiston,” Ross said.

No officers were struck by gunshots but one fell and injured his leg as he evaded the bullets. He was taken to hospital, treated for minor injuries, and released.

Court records reveal Hinkley’s criminal history dates back to 2001, according to the Lewiston Sun Journal.

He was convicted of assault in 2003 and 2008. In 2004, he was convicted of burglary and violating a protection order and sentenced to two years behind bars.

In 2012, he was sentenced to 20 years for stabbing his former girlfriend and a man who attempted to intervene. He pleaded guilty to felony charges of elevated aggravated assault and aggravated assault with the understanding that his sentence would be limited to 20 years and that he would only spend 15 behind bars.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in