LIVERMORE FALLS, Maine (AP) — Maine State Police impersonated a journalist during a deadly standoff with a hostage taker when a TV news reporter received a call from the suspect and handed his cellphone to police.

WGME-TV’s Taylor Cairns was shocked to receive the call Monday night while at the scene of an armed standoff in Livermore Falls. He informed state police who used the phone to continue a conversation while posing as a reporter.

State Police Maj. Bill Ross called it an impromptu decision and a “unique circumstance” but acknowledged it was “not a good practice.”

The hostages were eventually released and the gunman took his own life.

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