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Maine gunman is killed in shoot-out with police

BRUNSWICK, Maine -- A masked gunman appeared composed as he threatened to kill pharmacy workers if they didn't hand over a powerful painkiller, witnesses said.

Minutes later, Kim David Niedermann fled with a bag filled with narcotics, launching a 90-minute drama Thursday night that included a high-speed chase and a carjacking, police said. It ended with Niedermann's death in a shoot-out with police.

''He was very calm the entire time. He didn't seem agitated or out of control," said Jan Murray, a manager at Waltz's Pharmacy in Waldoboro.

After his PT Cruiser was spotted in Wiscasset, Niedermann led police on a chase through three counties, twice stopping to fire shots at officers in parking lots full of bystanders, investigators said.

It ended after his second vehicle was disabled by a spike mat.

''He jumped right out and started shooting," said witness Judith Farrin of Walpole.

Sagadahoc County Deputy Chad Carleton and Officer Paul Hansen of the Brunswick Police Department fired back. Niedermann was hit twice, once in the neck and once in the abdomen. The neck wound killed him, according to the state medical examiner's office.

One of Niedermann's bullets struck Carleton's equipment belt, sending fragments into his pants, sweater, and T-shirt, said Sheriff Mark Westrum. Carleton, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was not seriously hurt, Westrum said.

The attorney general's office investigates any use of deadly force by law enforcement. A report will be issued within a few weeks, said Chuck Dow, a spokesman.

Niedermann had a criminal record going back more than 20 years. He went to prison for a 1972 drug possession conviction and had been convicted of disorderly conduct, theft, forgery, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

In Waldoboro, pharmacist Ted Wooster said the robber didn't want OxyContin, the target in several pharmacy robberies in Maine. He demanded Duragesic, a patch prescribed for chronic pain.

''He pretty much cleaned out the cabinet," Wooster said. Just before he left, Niedermann ordered the employees and two customers -- a mother and her toddler -- onto the floor behind the counter.

Niedermann was spotted an hour later in Wiscasset, where Sagadahoc County deputies used a spike mat, police said. The car continued across the Kennebec River into Bath with both front tires blown.

Two deputies and a Bath police cruiser followed and attempted to pen the car in the parking lot, Westrum said. Niedermann fired shots and hit three cruisers before carjacking a Subaru.

In Brunswick, Niedermann drove across another police spike mat and then steered the disabled Subaru into a pizzeria parking lot, where he was shot.

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