Victim: Police could have prevented Maine shooting spree

AP News
Posted: Jul 22, 2015 4:02 PM
Victim: Police could have prevented Maine shooting spree

BENEDICTA, Maine (AP) — The young woman who police say was kidnapped last week by a former convict said Wednesday that she believes law enforcement could've prevented the shooting spree that killed her boyfriend and another man.

Brittany Irish told reporters that she urged the Maine State Police to keep a trooper stationed outside her family's home in Benedicta last Thursday after she found out that their barn had been set on fire, but she was told that authorities didn't have the resources to do that.

Hours later, 35-year-old Anthony Lord stormed the house and kidnapped Irish after shooting her boyfriend and mother, police have said.

Irish, speaking publicly about the incident for the first time Wednesday, said she believes state police are partially responsible for the death of Kyle Hewitt, her boyfriend, and Kevin Tozier, whom Lord happened upon during his rampage across northern Maine.

"I have to tell my children why they don't have a father and the only people that are to blame for that is Anthony himself and state police," the 21-year-old said through tears at a news conference outside her parents' house.

Maine State Police Chief Col. Robert Williams said in a statement that authorities typically review their response after major incidents and will do so in this case. He said it would be inappropriate to discuss additional details now that the case is in the court system.

Police have not said what they believe motivated the killings.

But Irish's parents told The Associated Press on Monday they believe that Lord snapped after he found out that their daughter went to police saying he abducted and sexually assaulted her days earlier. Brittany Irish said Wednesday that the initial kidnapping happened on July 14, not July 15, as her parents had said.

The AP doesn't typically identify people who say they were sexually assaulted, but Brittany Irish consented to being identified, saying she wanted the full story to be told.

Williams confirmed Wednesday that Maine State Police last week were investigating a sexual assault incident in which Brittany Irish was the victim, but authorities have declined to provide additional details.

A state police affidavit released this week said Lord confessed to the killings. During his initial court appearance in Houlton on Monday, his lawyer said he was seeking a mental health evaluation.

Lord's lawyer said Wednesday that he hasn't seen any reports from the state that would support Irish's allegations that Lord had kidnapped and assaulted her days before the shooting.

"I don't have any information that in any way supports those allegations," said Hunter Tzovarras, an attorney in Bangor. "The information that we have received is that they had been in a consensual relationship."