World

Suspected killer accessed online sex offender registry, Maine police say

A Nova Scotia man suspected of killing two registered sex offenders in Maine before taking his own life had looked up details about the men on Maine's online sex offender registry, police say.

A Nova Scotia man suspected of killing two registered sex offenders in Maine before taking his own life had looked up details about the men on the state's online sex offender registry, police say.

Stephen Marshall, who shot himself in the head with a .45-calibre handgun when police stopped the bus in which he was riding, had logged on to 34 individual names on the registry, police said.

The registry provides addresses and conviction data of offenders.

"We know that Marshall logged on and got specific information on [34] individuals, two of which were the victims," Steve McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine state police, told CBC News.

The state maintains an online registry of 2,200 offenders that includes their names, photos and addresses. McCausland said the site gets more than 200,000 hits a month.

'She heard the shots'

Police said Marshall, of the Cape Breton community of Little Bras d'Or, was a person of interest in the fatal shootings of Joseph Gray, 57, of Milo, and William Elliott, 24, of Corinth. Their bodies were discovered Sunday morning in the Maine towns of Milo and Corinth, northwest of Bangor.

Both victims were registered sex offenders in Maine. They were reportedly killed in their respective homes.

Police began looking for Marshall, 20, after his father's pickup truck was spotted by Elliott's girlfriend leaving the scene of his slaying.

"She witnessed the shooting, she heard the shots. She followed Marshall out into the yard and then she got the vehicle description," McCausland said. "But most importantly, she got the licence plate number."

The white pickup was found abandoned near Bangor but a tip led police to search for Marshall on a bus travelling to Boston.

David Procopio, who works for the Suffolk County District Attorney's office that covers the Boston area, said Marshall was sitting 13 rows behind the driver on the Greyhound bus when "police boarded the bus and they asked [the driver] to turn on the overhead dome lights."

That's when the young man fired a single shot that went through his head and out the window.

Five other passengers were evaluated at a Boston hospital because they had blood spattered on them, said Procopio. They were fine and they were released.

"We're just grateful that no innocent bystanders or passengers were hurt."

Suspect may have been meeting his dad

Emergency workers found another weapon on Marshall's body, a .22-calibre handgun. He had been carrying a backpack, a laptop computer and personal papers, including his passport, "but nothing to shed any light on why he came to Boston."

Maine police said Marshall had come to Houlton to meet his father.

"He had arrived at his father's home Thursday night and apparently disappeared sometime Sunday morning [or] Saturday night with his father's truck and three guns," McCausland said.

They say they discovered Marshall's father's truck abandoned in Bangor and alerted authorities in Boston.

Police in Nova Scotia said Marshall had no previous run-ins with the law.