In what authorities called an “extreme case of domestic violence” in Maine, Carroll Tuttle Jr. shot his wife, son, neighbor, and another man.
Tuttle was then shot and killed by police in his driveway. Three of his victims died. The victims were identified as his wife, Lori Hayden, 52, their son, Dustin Tuttle, 25, and neighbor Michael Spaulding, 57. Harvey Austin, 57, was shot but survived the July 5 attack.
The shooting spree occurred in Madison, Maine.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Tuttle Went on a Shooting Rampage but Police Don’t Know ‘What Set the Gunman Off’
Police in Maine are still trying to unravel the motive, but one thing is clear, they say: Tuttle snapped and went on a shooting rampage that left three dead and one wounded.
“This is an extreme case of domestic violence that has taken place here in Madison,” Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, said, adding that police are trying to determine “what set the gunman off. We don’t have that answer and we hope to get it.”
Police said that Tuttle killed his wife and son inside the family home, and then killed his neighbor inside that man’s home before shooting the fourth man outside.
However, The Bangor Daily News quoted Spaulding’s son, Michael, as saying that his father was killed because Tuttle “thought my dad was having an affair with his wife.”
It wasn’t true, though, Michael said. He told The Press Herald that Spaulding was trying to help Hayden free herself from an abusive relationship with Carroll Tuttle.
“(His girlfriend) came out and she said (to Tuttle), ‘What’s your problem?’ and he looked down and said, ‘That’s what you get for (expletive) my wife,’ and he left. He just walked away,” Spaulding said to the newspaper. “Those allegations weren’t true because what was happening was Carroll was abusive and my dad was helping his wife move out of the house and get away from that.”
2. Dustin Tuttle Was a Young Father
Tuttle’s last public post on Facebook in June read, “Looking for a place to rent got cash what’s out there??” He wrote that he was single, lived in Norridgewock, Maine, and was from Maine. Photos on Facebook indicated he had driven truck for a living.
A woman who knew the men wrote on Facebook, “This is so sad. My late ex father-in-law was friends with Carroll Tuttle Sr. and we bought a car from him in 1987. And Dustin Tuttle worked with …the guys at Nitram for a while. We didn’t know him well, but he was part of the Nitram crew and we are very sad that his life was taken. He has a young daughter who will grow up without her daddy.”
Lori Hayden was the daughter of Skowhegan Selectwoman Darla Pickett.
3. Spaulding, the Neighbor, Was Remembered by His Son as ‘the World to Me’
Spaulding’s son Michael wrote on Facebook, “To anyone who is wondering, today my dad has passed away. You can message me with any questions I will do my best to answer. Thank you to all the people that have reached out. It means a lot to have all the support I do. My dad was the world to me and I’m sure a lot of you felt similar.”
He told the Bangor Daily News that his father’s girlfriend “said she was cooking breakfast and Tuttle came in and just shot my dad.” He told the newspaper that his father had been enjoying fireworks the day before.
4. Carroll Tuttle Had a Criminal History
There were red flags in Carroll Tuttle’s background that he was capable of violence.
Tuttle “has committed misdemeanor infractions stretching from 1987 to 2004, according to a statewide criminal records check. The misdemeanor charges include criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and assault,” reported CentralMaine.com.
A neighbor told the Press Herald: “Deputies spotted Tuttle’s pickup truck and confronted him just after he had shot Austin in the face. Tuttle shot at the deputies, who quickly returned fire and killed him.”
5. The Spree Was the Deadliest in Maine Since 2015
There hadn’t been as many people shot in Maine at once since 2015.
In 2015, “a gunman killed three people before taking his own life in Oakland,” reported WABI, which added that neighbors near the recent shooting scene described the area as usually quiet and peaceful.
The Tuttle shooting spree broke out around 7:30 in the morning.