“He was caring. He was always the one to make sure everybody was laughing,” Ouimette said.
Thwaits has been close to Joey since they were children, and he considered her his sister, she said.
“He was one of the most amazing men you ever met,” Thwaits said.
Her grief is mingled with disbelief at what happened to Joey.
The deadly force used was unnecessary, she thinks.
Rather than a gun, police should have used another less deadly weapon, like a Taser or a baton, to subdue Joey, Thwaits said.
“He was speeding; he didn’t rob a bank.”
At a press conference in Lewis on Wednesday, LaFountain said, “It seems to be a justified use of deadly force by one of our troopers.”
Thwaits said the black 2005 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck that Joey was driving is registered to his father, Paul Aubin.
Why the police chased Joey baffles her, she said.
“They have no idea who they’re chasing. That’s a bit much.”
Questions that she and others who knew Joey have remain unanswered, she said.
“One of my biggest questions is why are those police on active duty” if the investigation isn’t finished, Thwaits said.
In Joey’s past run-ins with police, “he resisted; he never fought,” she said.
LaFountain has said that Joey was a convicted violent felon with a history of resisting arrest.
State prison records show he was released from Arthur Kill Correctional Facility, Staten Island in December 2008. He was first in the custody of the state Department of Corrections in December 2006, according to the prison records.
He was serving time for convictions on three felonies: second-degree assault, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle.
In November 2005, Joey, then 21, allegedly assaulted David Gardner of Lyon Mountain on Margaret Street in Plattsburgh and took money from him.