Aroostook County Officer Injured in Accidental Shooting
State Police are investigating the accidental shooting of an Aroostook County corrections officer Monday evening inside a vehicle parked at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro.
Wounded was 33-year-old Matthew Morrison of Mars Hill, according to State Police spokesman Steve McCausland. Morrison is being treated at Maine Medical Center in Portland for a gunshot wound to the leg.
McCausland said Morrison was shot by another corrections officer, 24-year-old Matthew Benger of Portland, who works for Cumberland County. The shooting occurred inside a pickup truck owned by 25-year-old Cody Gillis of Brunswick, who also works as a corrections officer for Cumberland County.
The three men were attending the five-week basic corrections training program at the academy, and were staying on campus.
The accidental shooting took place about 8 p.m. Monday in the back parking lot of the police academy complex, off Oak Grove Road as the men were getting ready to leave the academy grounds for an errand. The gun, which was owned by Gillis, had been stored in the console of his truck, McCausland said.
Benger, who was in the front passengers’ seat, was handling the 9mm handgun at the time, when it went off. Morrison was sitting in the rear seat of the truck and Gillis was in the driver's seat.
Morrison was taken by ambulance to MaineGeneral Hospital in Augusta, then flown by Lifeflight helicopter to Maine Medical. He was expected to have surgery on the leg on Tuesday, McCausland said.
The Director of the Academy, John Rogers, said the three officers were in the fourth week of their training. The class is made up of 29 corrections officers from the county jails and the Maine correctional system.
Rogers said he will review the incident and is awaiting the final investigative report from the Maine State Police. The Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office will also be receiving a copy of the report.