MEXICO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine Attorney General's Office is investigating a police standoff that left one man dead Sunday night at a Circle K gas station in Mexico.
According to State Police spokesman Steve McCausland, 52-year-old Steven Piirainen of South Paris stole a pickup truck in Paris and led police officers on a chase that ended at the gas station.
The standoff started around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. State Police sent negotiators to the scene around 8 p.m. Gas station employees were safely evacuated from the store during the incident. McCausland said the man exchanged gunfire with a state trooper and a Mexico police officer. State Police tactical team members confirmed the man was found dead inside the pickup outside the gas station just before 11 p.m.
Since police were involved with the shooting, the Attorney Generals Office will investigate the incident. Investigators were sent to the scene Sunday night and worked through the morning gathering evidence. State Police said they placed the two officers who fired at Piirainen, State Trooper Pail Casey and Mexico Reserve Office Dean Benson, on administrative leave, which is standard.
This was not Piirainen's first incident with police. He had been arrested 6 additional times, dating back to 1990. Piirainen was arrested in 1990 for Robbery and Aggravated Assault, and again in 1993 for Burglary and Domestic Assault.
Piirainen was arrested in 2003 after he and 22-year-old Derek Morrison allegedly beat up a man and stole one and a half pounds of marijuana from him. Police tried to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle Piirainen and Derek Morrison were in, but they sped off. They led police on a high speed chase until police could stopped the vehicle with a spike mat.
Following that incident, he was arrested in 2008 for Elevated Agitated Assault, in 2009 he was found Operating after Suspension three times. Last year, Piirainen was arrested for Domestic Assault.
And on July 30 of this year, he was arrested for Theft, Aggravated Criminal Assault, Criminal Mischief, and Burglary of a Motor Vehicle. A judge released Piirainen on personal recognizance.
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday.