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    HomeUnited StatesU.S ArmySheriff Defends Deputies Actions Before Army Reservist Killed 18 in Maine

    Sheriff Defends Deputies Actions Before Army Reservist Killed 18 in Maine

    Sheriff Defends Deputies Actions Before Army Reservist Killed 18 in Maine

    AUGUSTA, Maine — Law enforcement officers spoke Thursday of the difficulty in implementing the state's yellow flag law that allows guns to be confiscated from someone in a mental health crisis, describing a cumbersome and time-consuming process in testimony to an independent commission that's investigating a mass shooting in which an reservist killed 18 people.

    Deputies said they had been trained about steps to remove guns under the law and that they were limited in what they could do when they received warnings about the reservist's deteriorating mental health.

    Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry pointed to the difficulty in balancing public safety versus individual rights.

    “There is always after a tragedy an opportunity to wonder if more could have been done. But that analysis must always take into consideration the limitations placed on law enforcement by the law at the time of the event,” Merry said.

    Democratic Maine Gov. Janet Mills and state Attorney General Aaron Frey assembled the commission to review the events that led up to the shootings at a bowling alley and a restaurant in Lewiston on Oct. 25.

    Leroy Walker, whose son Joe Walker was killed at Schemengees Bar, said victims families have been following the proceedings and hope it yields some changes that can prevent future tragedies.

    “Everything that they do I think will help us in some way, and we'll find out information,” Walker said. “A lot of…

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