The following incident was downright the worst type of domestic violence situation in which a law enforcement officer could get involved — one in which there was danger, no real winner and one in which there was a very permanent solution to a temporary problem.

I may write about a similar incident wherein I was the law enforcement officer involved. Believe it or not, I thought it was even worse than this one.

But this story involves my dear friend, Maxim “Mickey” Squiers, chief of the Greenville Police Department. He was nearing the end of his career and looking forward to a lengthy, quiet retirement.

Mickey had been dealing with an ongoing domestic situation. The female was in the process of leaving her boyfriend and wanted no part of him. Many times previously they had split up, then gotten back together. But this time she was finally making the move; there would be no more getting back together.

Of course, every time they had split up, the police had been involved. Mickey was tired of dealing with the same old thing over and over.

Then one day a dreaded call came. The estranged boyfriend was at his girlfriend’s workplace and was chasing her with a shotgun through the building. Mickey arrived first at the scene. Backup was on the way.

Mickey got the man back to his vehicle without anyone getting anyone injured. However, a major confrontation took place at the suspect’s vehicle and Mickey was held at bay at the end of the man’s shotgun.

Assistance arrived in the form of a local warden. “Whoa!” was about the only word Lt. Dorian could muster as he rounded the corner of the pickup and saw Mickey at the end of the gun barrel.

The man decided to make a run for it. He closed the door and took off in his pickup. He screeched out of the parking lot and headed north toward Rockwood. Mickey finally got behind the fleeing vehicle and snapped on his seat belt, expecting a high-speed chase to ensue.

But, just as they rounded the turn in Greenville Junction, a tractor-trailer truck making a delivery blocked the entire road. The man on the run had just run out of room.

Mickey went to get out of his vehicle but got hung up in his seat belt. It took him a couple of seconds to untangle the seat belt, exit his cruiser and approach the suspect. As Mickey told me later, at this point he was so angry with the man that he was going to rip him out of the truck and make him stop this whole foolish behavior. Mickey knew the man quite well.

Mickey finally worked his way out of his cruiser and approached the pickup. When he got to the door, he reached for the handle. He then heard an explosion and felt something strike his arm.

Mickey opened the door and looked in. The suspect had shot himself in the head, completely removing it. Pieces of the suspect had struck Mickey’s arm. Mickey was dumbfounded and speechless. There was nothing he could do. One second this man was alive and then he was dead.

That day, you could say the seat belt actually saved Mickey’s life. If he had not gotten tangled up in it and had exited the vehicle a few crucial seconds earlier, he might have been in the direct line of fire and been shot. Rather ironic how it saved his life.

But for him to see this happen right in front of his eyes, even for a veteran police officer, was devastating to say the least. It’s something to carry for a long time.

I recently took Mickey and his lovely wife, Simone, to dinner and Mickey retold this story just as if it happened yesterday. And this horrific incident took place in the early 1990s.

To look at the positive side, Mickey saved the life of the estranged girlfriend. After the investigation, it was clear the suspect’s intent that day was to murder his estranged partner and then commit suicide.

Just another day in the life of a police officer.

Mark Nickerson is a retired Maine State Police Trooper. The 28-year veteran lives in Unity. The award-winning columnist may be reached at menick@uninet.net.