Maine man killed by booby trap rigged in his home on Thanksgiving, police say


A man was killed Thanksgiving night by a booby trap he had apparently rigged in his home, officials say.

The deceased, identified by police as 65-year-old Ronald Cyr of Van Buren, Maine, called 911 after he was shot by his self-made home security device and was taken to a hospital, police said in a Friday news release.

"Regretfully, Mr. Cyr succumbed to the injuries sustained from the gunshot," Van Buren police said.

Police later determined that the shooting was the result of Cyr unintentionally triggering the device.

Investigators at the scene discovered that Cyr's front door was rigged with a device "designed to fire a handgun should anyone attempt to enter the door," according to the police statement. Police reportedly found other "unknown devices" in Cyr's home that prompted them to call the Maine State Police bomb squad.


Van Buren, a predominantly rural town in northern Maine that is 320 miles from Portland, sits along the St. John River directly across the U.S.-Canada border and includes a land-based port of entry.

Agencies involved with the investigation, which include the Van Buren Police Department, the Aroostook County Sheriff's Office and the Maine Warden Service, did not immediately respond to requests for additional information.

Michael McCarthy, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed to The Washington Post that Border Patrol was sent to assist the Van Buren Police and noted that Border Patrol often respond to calls at the request of local police, particularly in rural areas along the border.

"In a lot of states along the northern border, U.S. Border Patrol are deputized as peace officers and often responsible for providing backup to local law enforcement," McCarthy said.

While Maine law permits the use of deadly force against home intruders in some cases, many state courts have ruled that booby traps - generally defined as any covert or concealed device designed to cause injury or death when triggered - are illegal.

A man in southern Illinois was convicted last year of first-degree murder after a booby-trapped shotgun he had rigged killed a man on his rural property.

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