The victims in a shooting that left four dead in Bowdoin have now been identified as the parents of the shooting suspect and two friends they had been staying with, Maine State Police said during a press conference on Wednesday.
Yesterday Maine State Police identified the suspect in the murders as 34-year-old Joseph Eaton. They identified the victims Wednesday as Eaton’s parents, David L. Eaton, 66, and Cynthia R. Eaton, 62, and Robert Eger, 72, and Patti Eger, 62.
The Egers owned the Augusta Road residence in Bowdoin where the shooting took place.
A neighbor who was concerned about the Egers well-being after several unanswered phone calls discovered one of the bodies in the residence and called the Sagadahoc County Sheriffs’ Department at 9:21 am. Deputies arrived on the scene by 9:40 am and located three additional deceased victims.
The Egers and Cynthia Eaton were found inside the primary residence, while David Eaton was found in an unattached garage.
That neighbor was able to give information to responding officers that quickly connected the Bowdoin crime scene to Eaton, who was taken into custody by Maine State Police a short time later.
Also, Wednesday morning, shortly after 10:30 am — and an unknown time after he is suspected of killing the four victims — and police from Yarmouth, Falmouth, Cumberland responded to reports of gunfire on Interstate-295.
Law enforcement believe Eaton opened fire on an unrelated vehicle in Yarmouth off of Exit 15. Maine State Police said Eaton later confessed that he believed he was being followed by cops, so he opened fire.
In that vehicle and injured were Sean Halsey, 51, and his two children, Justin Halsey, 29, and Paige Halsey, 25. All three were taken to Maine Medical Center.
Paige Halsey remains in critical condition.
A search conducted using canine units around Exit 15 led to Eaton being detained without an exchange of gunfire in the nearby woods.
Contrary to reports circulating on social media, law enforcement said they have no evidence that a second shooter was involved.
Eaton was transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland for medical care after his arrest, but police would not say why other than that he had a medical condition. Police said he did not resist arrest, and they would not say whether he was under the influence of drugs.
Eaton is being held at the Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.
Law enforcement would not say when the four victims are thought to have died.
Colonel Bill Ross with the State Police called the law enforcement response “one of the most dynamic, certainly criminal investigations we’ve seen in recent memory, if not ever in the state of Maine.”
Law enforcement said the Patricia Eaton had just on April 14 picked up her son after he was released from the Windham Correctional Facility.
Maine State Police would not say where Eaton was living between the time of his arrest and his April 14 release from a correctional facility other than to say his parents had assisted with his accommodations.
Maine State Police records show Eaton had previously been convicted of violent felonies, which means he was prohibited from owning a firearm. He was incarcerated most recently for an aggravated assault in 2021.
Law enforcement also wouldn’t comment on the type, quantity, and style of firearm used in the killings.
Police were unable to confirm that Eaton was a resident of Maine when he was arrested and incarcerated in 2021.
Less than 12 hours before Eaton was arrested, he posted a bizarre video to Facebook in which he spoke of apologies, forgiveness, and second chances, referring to a previous — perhaps romantic — relationship.
Eaton also claimed that he had been dealing with past trauma related to molestation.
“Just need to try to forgive me for the things I did. I’ve been dealing with trauma for a long time on things I don’t talk to people about. Being molested and stuff. It destroys somebody. I know I’m good for my kids. I just wish someone would forgive me. Some people. I don’t get it.”
Based on information Maine State Police released Wednesday, Eaton may have already killed four people at the time he posted this video.