Maine man dies after being shot by own booby trap at home

Victoria Bekiempis
Photograph: Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

A man in Maine died on Thanksgiving after being shot by his own booby trap at home, authorities said.

Ronald Cyr, 65, called 911 early Thursday evening, telling operators that he had been shot, the Van Buren Police Department said on Facebook.

Police and medics went to the scene and gave Cyr medical assistance. “Regretfully, Mr. Cyr succumbed to the injuries he sustained from the gunshot,” authorities said.

Officers learned that the front door of Cyr’s home was “outfitted with a device designed to fire a handgun should anyone attempt to enter the door.”

They discovered “other unknown devices” and subsequently called Maine state police bomb squad.

The agencies investigated Cyr’s home into the early morning hours of 29 November; authorities determined that he was shot “as the result of the unintentional discharge of one of his homemade devices”.

Two people reached by the Guardian, who said they were family members, claimed their brother’s home had long been targeted by burglars and voiced frustration toward authorities.

Mark and Lorraine, who identified themselves as two of Ronald’s siblings, said Ronald had long complained that items such as tools and car painting supplies had gone missing. They alleged that Ronald Cyr complained to authorities, but police treated him “like he was senile”, Mark claimed.

The police department could not be reached for additional comment.

He was afraid,” Mark said. “The cops wouldn’t do nothing so he took matters [into his own hands.]”

The pair said Ronald had tried using fences and security cameras to protect his home, but he eventually turned to traps a few years ago.

“We were not in favor of him doing that because he wasn’t used to guns – really, that was not his forte – but he was so frustrated,” Lorraine said.

Van Buren, population 2,171, is situated across from Saint-Leonard, New Brunswick, Canada. The town is approximately 320 miles from Portland, Maine.