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State Police Detective and 2 Others Killed In Shootout

April 1, 1989 GMT

LEEDS, Maine (AP) _ A man who was the focus of a child-abuse investigation killed his live-in companion and a state police detective who came to their home, then shot himself to death Friday, authorities said.

Detective Giles R. Landry and the woman, Barbara Wells, had been talking in a police cruiser outside the couple’s mobile home in this rural central Maine town when they were shot to death at around 10 a.m.

The gunman, identified as David Grover Sr., 36, died later while being transported from a Lewiston hospital to one in Portland.

Grover and Ms. Wells had lived in the home for several years, neighbors said. Although they had four children, only one - an 18-year-old boy - was living with them; the other children live with relatives, state Public Safety Department spokesman Stephen McCausland said.

Grover was the subject of a child-abuse investigation that involved a 9- year-old Leeds girl who was ″not a relative,″ McCausland said. He also said Grover had an ″extensive criminal history.″

At the time of the shootings, Landry had gone to the mobile home to investigate the child abuse case, said state police Chief Andrew E. Demers. Landry called for backup assistance but had given no indication of an impending emergency, Demers said.

Grover, who neighbors said made a living selling merchandise at flea markets, apparently shot Ms. Wells and Landry with a hunting rifle that was found outside the home, police said. He then shot himself in the head. The backup officer arrived minutes later.

″The police have been there so many times,″ said Janet Beaupre, a next- door neighbor. ″He was always in trouble. I don’t know why she stayed with him.″

Landry, 36, of Lewiston, a 13-year veteran of the state police who was promoted last August, was the seventh member of the force to be killed in the line of duty and the first since 1986.

″This is a very, very tragic day for the state police,″ McCausland said at an impromptu news briefing not far from the scene.

Gov. John R. McKernan said he was ″shocked and deeply saddened″ by the tragedy.