A Maine man reportedly set his estranged wife's home on fire, then fatally cut himself in front of police. According to the Portland Press Herald, 63-year-old Terry Whitney of Fairfield, Maine had been separated from his wife after he was charged with criminal mischief and domestic violence assault back on Oct. 31, when he was ordered by the court to stay away from the woman.
Shortly after midnight on Sunday, Whitney allegedly went back to the house he had previously shared with his wife. He cut off the house's power and spread a mix of gasoline and oil on the home's siding. Using an accelerant and a propane torch, he then set fire to the house and his truck.
His wife, who was in the house when Whitney showed up, called 911. When police and fire crews showed up, two sides of the outside of the house were on fire, but the flames were mostly limited to the exterior of the home. As his wife escaped the house without being harmed using the back door, police tried to disarm Whitney.
The first officer to show up at the residence reportedly tried to confront Whitney. The officer chased Whitney and attempted to use a Taser on him, but Whitney's bulky clothing rebuffed the shocks. A second officer arrived and also used his Taser without success, according to Fairfield Police Capt. Paul St. Amand.
Sometime during the confrontation, Whitney took out a knife and cut himself, at which point police disarmed him. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries. Specific details of Whitney's injuries have not been released publicly.
St. Amand said that there weren't any clear, immediate signs that drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident. Whitney reportedly never said anything to the officers during the confrontation.
Despite damage to the home mostly being cosmetic, the house was deemed uninhabitable because of broken windows and concerns about the damaged electrical wiring.
Fairfield police and the state Fire Marshal's Office are still investigating the case, according to the Portland Press Herald.