The Maine Attorney General has ruled that a Presque Isle police officer was justified in using deadly force last May during an armed confrontation in a Main Street parking lot.

Townsquare Media

Officer Lucas Hafford responded to the scene shortly before 6 p.m. on May 7 after numerous reports that an intoxicated man, bleeding and holding a knife, was walking on Main Street in Presque Isle.

Officer Hafford first deployed a Taser against 26-year-old Derek Sam of Caribou when he refused to drop the knife. The Taser was ineffective and Sam approached the officer with the knife raised, making stabbing motions. It was then that Officer Hafford shot and gravely wounded the man.

In her ruling, Attorney General Janet Mills concluded that Hafford acted to defend himself and others from the threat of deadly force.

Sam was airlifted to a Bangor hospital and died three days later from the gunshot wounds.