Man Dead After Police Standoff at Gas Station in Western Maine [UPDATE]
A man who led police on a chase in a stolen pickup was found dead Sunday night at a convenience store in Mexico, Maine after a standoff with police.
According to Public Safety Department spokesman Steve McCausland, the man had stolen a pickup truck in the town of Paris. The standoff outside the Circle K gas station on Main Street in Mexico began early in the evening.
Employees were safely evacuated from the store and the area was blocked off. McCausland said the man exchanged gunfire with a state trooper and a Mexico police officer.
State Police tactical team members confirmed the man was found dead inside the pickup just before 11 p.m. Sunday. Investigators were on the scene until before dawn Monday.
The victim was identified as 52-year-old Steven R. Piirainen of South Paris. It was not clear if he was killed by police bullets or shot himself.
Because police officers were involved, the State Attorney General's Office will be investigating. State Trooper Paul Casey and Mexico Reserve Officer Dean Benson-have been placed on administrative leave with pay.
Piirainen has lived in Oxford, but recently moved in with his parents in South Paris.
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta.