The state police could have prevented a rampage in northern Maine last week during which five people were shot, two of whom died, a survivor said.
A woman who said she was raped and kidnapped twice by the suspect, ex-con Anthony Lord, has blamed police for not doing more to protect her and her family. Brittany Irish, 21, said Thursday that the State Police refused to station an officer outside her Benedicta home when she said she felt unsafe after she escaped the first time. Irish said police told her they didn’t have the manpower to deploy an officer to her home.
Irish has said her children will grow up without a father because of the lack of security. Her boyfriend, Kyle Hewitt, 22, was one of the people killed.
“I hope that the State Police are held accountable for a man dying and not being able to raise his children,” Irish said, according to WLBZ.
Lord, 35, has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping. A police affidavit says he confessed to the crimes.
The spree began when Lord allegedly kidnapped Irish on July 14 and took her to a cabin where he repeatedly raped her, she said. He let her go, she said, because she promised not to tell police.
However, she did tell police, and they put her and her family in danger, Irish said, by notifying Lord that he was accused of the abduction. After learning that, Lord apparently snapped the night of July 16 when he burned down a barn belonging to Irish’s parents.
Around 4:40 a.m. on July 17, police said Lord allegedly broke into a home, tied up a woman living there, hit her in the head repeatedly with a hammer and stole a pickup truck and guns, according to the Bangor Daily News.
Ten minutes later, police got a call that someone had fired shots at the home of Lord’s brother, WCSH6 reported.
Around 5 a.m. police responded to a call at Irish’s home where her boyfriend, Hewitt, and her mother, Kim Irish, 55, had been shot. Brittany Irish had been abducted again.
Soon after that, a man driving by the barn reported getting shot in the shoulder, police said.
At 5:50 a.m., an officer spotted Lord in the stolen pickup truck. Lord opened fire and escaped.
Later in the day and about 40 miles away at a woodlot in Lee, Kevin Tozier, 58, and Clayton McCarthy, 54, were shot. Tozier did not survive. Police said Lord is a suspect in the shooting and stole another truck from there.
Police apprehended Lord inside a home in Houlton, about 65 miles from Lee, on Friday afternoon. He had Irish with him, they said.
Lord is a registered sex offender after being convicted of unlawful sexual contact with a 14-year-old in 2004. He’s also been convicted of domestic violence.
Irish met Lord years ago through a friend, but got a protective order against him in 2010. A lawyer for Lord said his client had a consensual relationship with Irish at some point in the past.
Irish is unhappy with the response from police.
“They are not willing to tell the truth to anybody,” Irish said of police this week, while talking to the Portland Press Herald. “They’re trying to bury it like nothing happened, like this wasn’t their fault.”
The Maine State Police didn’t respond to calls and emails from The Huffington Post, but in a statement to the press on Wednesday, an official said he couldn’t reveal much because of the ongoing investigation.
“State police wish to express sympathy and condolences to all of the victims of the events last week,” State Police Col. Robert Williams said. “Brittany Irish and all of the victims and their families have been through a very traumatic event.”