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What we know about Maine shooting suspect Joseph Eaton

Two communities in Maine were rocked this week when suspected gunman Joseph Eaton suddenly embarked on a shootout, first in a home and then along an interstate highway.

Maine State Police said officers were called to a home in the town of Bowdoin Tuesday morning to find four victims dead from gunshot wounds.

Not long after the grim discovery was made, an assailant randomly opened fire on cars driving along Interstate 295 in the vicinity of Yarmouth.

Three people were shot in the second attack, and one of them is now in critical condition. The suspected gunman was arrested at the scene.

Here’s what we know so far about Joseph Eaton:

Who is Joseph Eaton?

Joseph Eaton, 34, was arrested for the two incidents, which are believed to be connected. He was charged with four counts of murder by the victims at the home and is being held at Two Bridges Regional Jail.

He has yet to be charged for the highway shootings. He appeared in court Thursday for the first time since the shooting.

The suspect has been charged with four counts of murder after he reportedly shot and killed his father David Eaton, 66; his mother Cynthia Eaton, 62; and his friends Robert Eger, 72; and Patricia Eger, 62.

The suspect left the Maine Correctional Center in Windham on Friday when he was picked up by his mother, according to state authorities.

A hearse leaves the scene of the shooting at the Bowdoin, Maine home.


The shooting took place at the Egers’ home. Three of the bodies were found inside the home, while Eaton’s father was found on the property in an “unattached garage,” according to authorities.

Not long after the grim discovery was made, an assailant randomly opened fire on cars driving along Interstate 295 in the vicinity of Yarmouth.

Colonel Bill Ross of the Maine State Police identified the three people injured on the road as Shawn Halsey, 51, Justin Halsey, 29, and Paige Halsey, 25. Ms. Halsey remains in critical condition at the Maine Medical Center.

Colonel Ross said there appears to be no connection between the Halsey family and Mr. Eaton. Eaton started shooting on the highway because he thought the police were after him, Colonel Ross added.

Speaking of the deceased, Colonel Ross said that “the chief medical examiner’s office determined that all died of gunshot wounds and were determined to be homicides.”

The suspected gunman was detained at the scene and the two incidents are believed to be connected.

Mr. Eaton was arrested and charged with four counts of murder by the victims in the home and is being held at the Two Bridges Regional Jail. He has yet to be charged for the highway shootings.

Eaton’s extensive criminal record

Eaton has a lengthy rap sheet dating back more than a decade before Tuesday’s shooting.

Previous convictions include robbery, felony aggravated assault, domestic violence and violence against a law enforcement officer, as well as felony possession of a weapon.

Joseph Eaton was released from prison four days before the shooting


Most recently, he was sentenced to eight months in prison for assault in March 2022. He was later returned to prison for violating his probation.

On Friday, he was released from the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, just four days before his killing spree was supposed to begin.

According to his felony convictions, he also could not legally possess a firearm.

The suspect had spent the past two years in jail, the colonel said.

“Mr. Eaton was taken by Portland Major Crimes detectives and police officers to the Portland Police Department, where he confessed and admitted to killing his parents and his parents’ friends; he admitted to killing his parents, David and Cynthia, and his friends, Robert and Patricia. at the residence at 1459 Augusta Road,” he said.

“He also admitted that he fired at vehicles on Interstate 295 because he thought that [was] being followed by police officers,” Colonel Ross said.

He added that “a few days ago, he was released from the Windham Correctional Center, where he was serving nearly two years for aggravated assault. I believe he was picked up on April 14 at Windham Correctional Center by his mother Cynthia and they drove to the residence in Bowdoin where the murders occurred.”

Authorities did not specify when the killings occurred: A friend of the Egers discovered the bodies after making several attempts to contact the couple and eventually went to check on them.

When asked about the suspect’s living arrangements, Colonel Ross said: “He’s been in jail for two years and [on] On April 14 of this year his mother picked him up at Wyndham Correctional Facility.”

He added that “his parents were involved in his accommodation.”

Eaton was sentenced in March 2021, according to Maine Department of Corrections director of government affairs Anna Black. He had been serving a sentence after a probation violation, the state official said Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.

State records reveal that Mr. Eaton has a criminal record, meaning he could not legally possess a firearm.

Eaton’s criminal past begins in 2008 in Kansas when he was accused of robbery. He was sentenced in 2009 and released in 2010.

He was sentenced to three years behind bars in May 2018 after being charged with three counts of aggravated assault on a lifeguard in Nassau County, Florida.

A month after he was released on February 15, 2021, he was sentenced on March 1 for assault in Maine.

Eaton was sent back to jail while waiting to attend a court hearing on Thursday. Jail officials said it was not clear if he had an attorney speaking on his behalf.

Chilling video shared on Facebook

The suspect appears to have posted a sobbing video on Facebook talking about his “trauma” and “being sexually abused” on Monday. the independent can reveal.

Mr Eaton shared an emotional video of himself online Monday where he said people think he is “just another fucked up” and complained about people “claiming to be Christian”.

In the footage, he is seen sitting in a car filming himself choking on tears and taking a confused drive.

“I’m probably going to get emotional just talking about it,” he said. “But a lot of people look at you and think ‘Oh well, there’s just another fucked up, another guy who can’t fix his stuff, treats people like crap’ and then they turn around and say they’re a Christian and you can’t forgive someone or understand what they’re going through. You can’t give someone a second chance but you say you’re a Christian. How does that make sense? Why can’t you just try to get to know the person again? What’s the point of hating someone? It destroys you. It’s not the way things were supposed to be done, the way things were done.”

Joseph Eaton posted a sobbing video online hours before the shooting


Eaton then went on to say that he wants forgiveness for “the things I did” as he said he has had “trauma for a long time”.

“I just need you to try to forgive me for the things I did. I’ve been dealing with trauma for a long time from things that I don’t talk to people about: being sexually abused and things that destroy someone,” she said. “I know that I am good for my children. I just wish someone would forgive me. Some people, I don’t get it.”

The suspect’s grandmother is speaking.

Betty Fagan lost her daughter Cynthia Eaton, who was the mother of the suspect, in the shooting. Police have yet to comment on the motive for the killings, after which Eaton allegedly opened fire on an interstate.

Ms Eaton had picked up her son from prison on April 14 when he was released after serving a sentence for aggravated assault.

Ms Eaton and her husband David Eaton, the suspect’s father, were found shot to death at a home in Bowdoin on Tuesday morning along with their friends Robert and Patricia Eger.

Ms. Fagan, who lives in Ocala, Florida, said her grandson was washed up on a beach after his release from prison and had spent the weekend alone.

He added that his parents had returned to Maine but were planning to move to Kansas, where they had previously lived.

“I could not believe it. I just couldn’t believe he would do something like that,” she told the AP.

Police have not commented on Mr Eaton’s living situation in the four days between his release and subsequent arrest, saying only that his parents were involved.



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