Stepmother of West Gardiner shooting victim: 'We loved him, and he's gone'

James Haskell was shot in West Gardiner on Saturday.

WEST GARDINER, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Police continue to investigate the shooting death of 41-year-old James Haskell in West Gardiner.

Haskell was shot and killed outside of a party at a residence on Yeaton Road around 2:45 Saturday morning.

Haskell's girlfriend told NEWS CENTER that he was coming to the party to see her - but someone else thought he was breaking in, and shot him.

His stepmother says Haskell struggled with a life of drugs, mental illness and run-ins with the law - but that he had a good heart, and was deeply loved.

“[I hope] that people would realize the lifestyle - and I know it had nothing to do with drugs - but the lifestyle that comes along with this whole realm of drugs, and all that stuff,” said Allison Haskell. “It's nothing but trouble. It will cause you pain and your family pain for the rest of your life.”

Haskell is still reeling from the news that her stepson James - who she raised - was shot and killed.

She found out on Facebook before police were able to contact her. “It was horrible,” she said.

Alison hadn't seen James in quite some time.

She says he was working to get his life together in order to come home and be with his family.

“Firsthand seeing what addiction can do to a person and what drugs can do to a person…When they're on them, you don't know them. You don't know them,” she said.

Allison knows that drugs didn't directly kill James - but she says they consumed his life from a young age.

The investigation is ongoing and there are still so many unanswered questions - but to James's family, none of it matters.

“I know there's a lot of rumors going on out there about what he did or what he didn't do,” she said. “I don't know if they're true or not. And at this point, we care - we don't want anyone hurt, we never have. But it doesn't matter. We loved him, and he's gone.”

Police still have not arrested a suspect.

They say they will be back on scene to continue the investigation on Sunday.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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