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Armed Veteran Shot, Killed by Officers Outside Maine VA Hospital

(CBS/AP)
(CBS/AP)

AUGUSTA, Maine (CBS/AP/WABI) Law enforcement officials shot and killed an armed military veteran around 9 a.m. Thursday in woods within sight of the entrance of a Veterans Affairs hospital in Togus, Maine outside Augusta, state Attorney General Janet Mills said.

Jim Doherty, a spokesperson for the hospital, told CBS affiliate WABI that staff were outside the center when they heard shots fired. A Togus police officer and two game wardens then responded. Mills says they ordered the man to drop his weapon.

It was not clear whether the officers were fired upon by the man, Mills said.

But "From the preliminary investigation, it appears to be defense of themselves and defense of third parties," she said.

Paul Stevens, who witnessed the shooting, said officers fired on a man armed with what looked like a rifle. About eight shots were fired, and the man fell to the ground, he said.

The man's name was not immediately released.

Mills said the man was not a resident or member of the VA hospital staff.

The VA hospital, which has its own federally licensed police force, may have gone into lockdown during the incident, Mills said. Hospital officials did not immediately return calls for comment.

They were quoted by media saying that patients and staff were fine.

By law, the attorney general's office in Maine investigates whenever officers use lethal force.