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5 New Hampshire police officers shot; chief is dead

April 12, 2012|By Connie Stewart
  • Police and rescue crews take positions on Post Road in Greenland, N.H., during a standoff with a man who shot 5 police officers.
Police and rescue crews take positions on Post Road in Greenland, N.H.,… (John Huff, Associated Press )

Five police officers in New Hampshire were shot as they tried to serve a search warrant in a drug investigation Thursday night, and local media reported that one of them, the Greenland police chief, had died from a bullet to the head.

Officers may have interrupted a drug deal at the house, the Union Leader of Manchester reported. 

Early Friday, state Atty. Gen. Michael Delaney confirmed that Chief Michael Maloney had been killed, the Associated Press reported. 

The incident began around 6 p.m. in the quiet seaside town of 3,500 residents. At 11 p.m., police said, a man and a woman remained barricaded inside.  

“We are working with federal, state and local law enforcement to try to obtain a peaceful resolution,” Delaney said late Thursday. “I do want to extend my thoughts and prayers to families and relatives and loved ones of the police officer that has been killed and the four police officers that have been injured.”

Maloney was to have retired in less than two weeks.

The violence shocked the community.

“It’s a blow to all of us,” John Penacho, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, told the Associated Press. “You’re stunned. It’s New Hampshire, it’s a small town.… It’s an unbelievable situation.”

Tammy Sullivan, who lives across the street from the house, told the Union Leader she saw three police officers felled when she looked out her window after hearing several gunshots.

“I saw the officers shot from the house and I saw them go down,” she said. “They were running from the house and the guy started shooting like crazy. All of a sudden cops came flying from everywhere.”

Officers told her to take cover in her basement and stay there, she said.

About 11 p.m., she told the newspaper that police were urging the man to talk to them on his cellphone. “They’re telling him they don’t want anybody else hurt and they want this to be a safe night,” she said.

The resident of the home was Cullen Mutrie, 29,  the Union Leader said. 

Gov. John Lynch rushed to Portsmouth Regional Hospital, where the officers were being treated.

“This is a tragic incident, and my thoughts and prayers are with the officers involved and their families,” the Democratic governor told the Associated Press.

The next media briefing was scheduled for 6 a.m.

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