The gunman suspected of shooting five police officers in a small New Hampshire town -- including the police chief, who died just days from retiring -- was found dead in his home early Friday after a police robot was sent into the house, ending an overnight standoff.
The state’s attorney general, Michael Delaney, said the alleged gunman’s girlfriend also was found dead of a gunshot wound in the house and that police believed they died in a murder-suicide or a double-suicide. He said two of the injured officers remained hospitalized with serious injuries; two others were treated and released.
Police Chief Michael Maloney died in the shootout, which erupted shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday when police in Greenland, a town of about 3,500, went to the home as part of a drug investigation. Someone shot several rounds at the police, hitting five of them.
The gunman was identified as Cullen Mutrie, 29. The Portsmouth Herald newspaper said Mutrie had a history of arrests for drugs and domestic assault. It said he had pleaded guilty to a 2007 assault charge but later withdrew the plea because he wanted to become a firefighter and feared it would affect his job opportunities.
It also reported that Mutrie had been banned from possessing firearms as a result of his assault arrest, and that he had been charged as recently as last year with drug offenses.
“We believe (Mutrie) is the man that shot and killed Police Chief Maloney and that he was involved in the injuries sustained by the other four officers,” Delaney said at a predawn briefing Friday. According to The Associated Press, Delaney said officials spoke to Mutrie a short time after the shooting from outside the home. When Maloney stopped responding, a tactical team sent in a robot equipped with a video camera, which detected the bodies.
Several people told the Herald that they knew Maloney and saw him frequently in the town."Eight days away from retiring,” said Jason MacKenzie, owner of the Suds N’ Soda Sports shop. He said Maloney came in often. “We were joking about him coming to work for me in the store."According to Town Administrator Karen Anderson, Maloney was a resident of North Hampton, was married, and had childen.
“This just isn’t fair to happen to someone just eight days away from retirement,” Anderson told the Herald.
Early Friday, condolence notes were pouring onto the tiny police department’s Facebook page. The department’s website lists nine officers, including Maloney. None was among the wounded officers, who came from neighboring law enforcement agencies called to help in the standoff.