State Police are investigating the accidental shooting of an Aroostook County corrections officer Monday evening inside a vehicle parked at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro.  
According to Maine Department of Public Safety Spokesman Steve McCausland, Matthew Morrison, 33, from Mars Hill, was hurt in the incident. He is being treated at Maine Medical Center in Portland for a gunshot wound to the leg. McCausland said the gun fired in the incident was privately owned.

According to McCausland, Morrison was shot by Cumberland County Correctional officer Matthew Benger, 24, of Portland. The shooting took place inside a pickup truck owned by a third correctional officer – Cody Gillis, 25, of Brunswick, who also works for Cumberland County, and owned the gun in question McCausland said. The three men were attending the five week basic corrections training program at the academy, McCausland added.

The shooting took place about 8PM as the three men were leaving the academy grounds for the evening, McCausland said. The gun had been stored in the console of Gillis’ truck and Benger, who was a front seat passenger,  was handling the 9mm handgun at the time.  Morrison was sitting in the rear seat of the truck and Gillis was driving.  The incident took place in the rear parking lot of the police academy complex, located off Oak Grove Road, according to McCausland.

Morrison was taken by ambulance to MaineGeneral in Augusta and then flown by the Lifeflight helicopter to Maine Medical. He was expected to have surgery on the leg today (June 13), McCausland said.

John Rogers, the director of the academy, said the three officers were in the fourth week of their correctional training, which takes place during the day. The class was made up of 29 correctional officers from the county jails and the Maine correctional system.  Some officers commute from home and others stay at the academy during the week.  The three officers involved in the incident were staying at the academy and were leaving the campus last night on an errand.  Rogers said he will review the incident and is awaiting the final investigative report from State Police.   The Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office will also be receiving a copy of that report, McCausland said.


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