September 18, 2020

Fatal mistake in Jackman

Attorney General Michael Carpenter, in his report on the Jackman shooting, has stated what was obvious to most people: that it was not necessary that (Katherine Hegarty) was killed.

Killed is a harsh word but the deed is just as harsh. Because some police officers were in a hurry, psyched-up, inexperienced, or whatever reason, a life was taken by people who swear to protect the citizens of Maine.

Some say police are only human, that they make mistakes. We all make mistakes, but in the position of carrying a weapon, mistakes can be fatal as we have seen. A similar situation in Dexter involving firearms was handled with no injuries to anyone. Why were the police in such a harry in Jackman?

A civilian review board for all police agencies is an excellent idea. Perhaps more training to teach officers how to interact with citizens is in order…. Raymond Sharkey III Norridgewock

I was impressed when the attorney general said the officers involved in the killing of Katherine Hegarty were incompetent and should resign. I just wish he would have gone one step further and bought them plane tickets to Los Angeles, one way. Lynn K. Evy Presque Isle

Had Katherine Hegarty shot a camper or fisherman, what then would be the hue and cry?

However, the Jackman police could have first tried tear gas to get Hegarty out of her camp. or simply plugged off her chimney and filled the camp with smoke.

Cops are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. and that’s the way it goes. Shirley Potter McKinney Mattawamkeag

Katherine Hegarty … was a beautiful, caring person; someone who would help you in a moment without even thinking of herself. She loved people. I know — I’ve been her friend for more than 30 years. I took care of her children when she and her husband, Jack, wanted to go on vacation. We shared a lot of good times together. My husband, Larry, knew Kathy before I did. They grew up together. They shared a special friendship; as a matter of fact, Larry knew Kathy for 40 years.

Kathy and Jack and their two sons moved to Jackman and we remained in New Hampshire, but our friendship stayed strong. We used to target practice at the fish and game club. Kathy was an excellent shot. If she had to protect herself, she could have….

My father was chief of police of Merrimack for many years, and I’m sure he would be disgusted with this action because the officers did not take enough time to talk to Kathy. She was not a criminal; it was not a hostage situation, she was alone. They showed poor judgment in not trying to talk her into coming out. The officers did not listen to the campers, who said Kathy just fired shots in the air to scare them off. There was no need of Kathy having been shot and killed. I still cannot believe the officers at the scene allowed this to happen.

I have high respect for policemen, and I am not directing this letter to other policemen; I am directing this to the officers at the scene.

I hope this nightmare won’t end in a slap on the wrist. Paula (Pynenburg) Schofield Merrimack, N.H.

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