LEE - Attorney General Michael A. Delaney has found that Durham Police Sgt. Jack Dalton and Durham Police Officer John Lavoie were both legally justified in using deadly force against a distraught Lee man back in December.
Steven Amazeen was shot in the legs and shoulder after confronting police who were responding to a 911 call at his Lee Hook Road home on Dec. 3. Amazeen survived his injuries and awaits trial in Strafford County Superior Court.
According to the report issued Wednesday by Delaney, Amazeen had just been told by his wife that she wanted a divorce, and after firing a shot from his handgun inside their bedroom, he went outside where he met up with police.
The report states that "when the officers encountered Mr. Amazeen on Lee Hook Road, he was armed with a deadly weapon, he made threats to use his gun on himself and the police, and he failed to comply with police commands to drop his gun and surrender as he moved aggressively towards police officers. Finally, Mr. Amazeen raised his arm and pointed his gun directly at one of the Durham officers."
The investigation determined that five cartridges were fired from Dalton's service weapon and four from Lavoie's. Amazeen's wounds included a bullet wound in his left thigh, crossing into his right thigh and lodging near his hip. The bullet was not removed during surgery. The bullet in his shoulder exited his back and was not located at the scene.
Police also located a bullet hole in the floor of the Amazeens' bedroom.
The report indicates "Amazeen begged for the police to shoot him and threatened several times to shoot the officers if they did not shoot him. At one point, Mr. Amazeen pointed his weapon in close proximity to several officers in an effort to insight them to shoot him. When this failed, Mr. Amazeen's attention was directed at the arriving Durham officers. He immediately raised his weapon as he approached the officers, while begging them to shoot him. He approached in an aggressive manner and pointed his weapon at (Durham Police Officer David) Carpenter, refusing to comply with orders to stop and drop his weapon. When Mr. Amazeen reached the front of the Durham police cruiser, and failed to drop his weapon or stop advancing, he left the officers no choice but to fire their weapons to protect Officer Carpenter's life and themselves from deadly force."