UPDATE: Murder-suicide suspected in deaths of 2 Freeport men

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FREEPORT — A father and son were found shot to death Tuesday at a Durham Road home in an apparent murder-suicide, Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said.

The two men were identified as John Dorrington, 66, and his son, Nicholas Dorrington, 32, he said.

“It appears the dad shot his son and then turned the gun on himself,” McCausland said.

State Police Sgt. Chris Harriman said the bodies were found at about 10 a.m. by the wife and mother of the victims, Joyce Dorrington, after one of the men didn’t show up at work Tuesday morning.

A .22 caliber handgun is believed to be the murder weapon, McCausland said.

He said Nicholas Dorrington was going through a divorce and had recently moved back in with his parents at the house.

Freeport Police Lt. Susan Nourse said there have not been “any (prior) incidents at the residence; no (prior) cause for concern.”

The state’s Major Crime Unit truck was on scene late Tuesday morning as detectives wearing blue gloves and cloth footies over their shoes entered the two-story gray house across Route 136 from the Burr Cemetery. Five cars were parked in the driveway behind police tape.

On the other side of the road, relatives and neighbors hugged each other and wiped away tears as police came over intermittently to pull them from the crowd for interviews. Reporters’ requests to talk to the family members were declined.

Stacy and Capan LaClair, who have lived next to the Dorringtons for three years, said they had talked to the father and son recently and nothing seemed amiss.

“I just talked to (John Dorrington) two days ago and he seemed to be fine,” Stacy LaClair said. “He asked me how my husband was doing, how my dog was doing. … We’re just really shocked and taken back.”

Neither said they heard anything the morning of the shooting, only recalling the loud boom from the early morning explosion in Yarmouth that killed 67-year-old Peter Corey.

Stacy LaClair said John and Nick Dorrington and a few others were in the backyard of the house moving things around a couple days ago, with John dictating where things should go. “Everybody seemed to be getting along,” she said.

Capan LaClair said he had talked with both of them late in May when he saw them at the Northeast Chop Shop open house in Windham.

“I was there talking with a friend and immediately picked them out of the crowd,” he said. “We talked and everything seemed OK. They were doing the father-son thing.”

Nick Dorrington attended Central Maine Community College’s automotive technician program and before his death worked at Lee Nissan in Brunswick as a mechanic since 2010.

Adam Lee, chairman of the board of Lee Auto Malls, said Nick Dorrington was formerly a technician at Lee Toyota in Topsham, but decided to transfer to the Nissan shop. He said Dorrington was was well-liked by his co-workers.

“All I can say is that he was a really nice guy and that he had a lot of friends. A lot of employees here are friends of his,” Lee said.

Jim Morrissey, of Beech Hill Road, which runs parallel to the side of the home, said he didn’t hear anything Tuesday morning and that he didn’t know the residents, but would see them outside as he drove by on Durham Road.

“I would see them out gardening. They did a lot of gardening,” he said. “There was always a lot of cars in the driveway.”

These deaths are the second and third domestic violence deaths in the area in the last few months.

Andrew Leighton, 46, is currently in Cumberland County Jail, charged with shooting his mother, Shirley Leighton, 68, on May 3, at the Falmouth home where they both lived.

According to a police affidavit, Leighton told investigators that he shot his mother as she tried to call Spring Harbor, a psychiatric hospital in Westbrook, to have him committed.

He is awaiting results of a mental competency evaluation.

Carol Betsch, who lives across the street toward the rear of Burr Cemetery, said she didn’t interact much with the Dorrington’s, but that John Dorrington had helped her escort a large snapper turtle across the busy Durham Road the other day.

“He was super nice is all I can tell you. Beyond nice,” she said, noting that he was soft-spoken and that he worked at L.L. Bean, along with his wife.

“You see this mild-mannered man helping a turtle and planting flowers with his wife,” Betsch said, “something had to be terribly wrong.”

The Bangor Daily News contributed to this report. Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or wgraff@theforecaster.net. Follow Will on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.

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A Maine State Police detective walks with a woman toward the Durham Road house in Freeport where two men were found dead Tuesday morning.

Family and neighbors hug across the street from the Durham Road home where two men were found dead Tuesday Morning.