Scarborough officer cleared in Portland shooting

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SCARBOROUGH — A local police officer was cleared Aug. 17 by Maine Attorney General William Schneider of any wrongdoing in a Portland shooting last January.

John Gill, who is also a U.S. Marshal’s Service Violent Offender Task Force special deputy marshal, was involved in the arrest of Arien L’Italien in Portland’s Parkside neighborhood Jan. 27.

Gill and U.S. Deputy Marshal Michael Tenuta each fired at L’Italien, a resident of Eagle Lake and Biddeford, as he fled from officers on Mellen Street.

Schneider ruled Gill and Tenuta reasonably believed there was a threat of unlawful deadly force against them, and it was reasonable for both to believe it was necessary to use deadly force against L’Italien.

The attorney general’s office said L’Italien is a convicted felon who was wanted in connection with a Jan. 1 assault in Biddeford.

The investigation into the shooting did not determine which agent shot L’Italien in his right leg, but did establish L’Italien fired four shots as he fled. Gill and Tenuta each fired four shots at L’Italien.

L’Italien was charged with federal offenses for assault on a federal officer, being a felon in possession of a firearm and using a firearm during a crime of violence. He pleaded guilty to these charges March 26 at U.S. District Court in Portland and was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison.

After his release, L’Italien will also serve a four-year prison term in Maine for a previous theft conviction.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.