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Victims identified in multiple shooting in Mason

Union Leader Correspondent

September 14. 2011 2:39PM
The State Police Major Crimes Unit was on scene in Mason throughout the day Tuesday to investigate a quadruple shooting that left one woman dead and three victims injured. (Nancy Bean Foster)

MASON - New information has been released by the Hillsborough County Attorney's office about a shooting and suicide that took place on Old Ashby Road on Monday night.

According to County Attorney Dennis Hogan, Jennifer Gaines, 60, shot three people at the residence before turning the gun on herself. Two of the victims in the shooting were identified as Karl Thorkildsen, 53, who owned the home at 317 Old Ashby Road with Gaines, and Mary Meacher, 53, of Mason. Information on a juvenile girl who also was shot was not released, though Hogan said she was related to Meacher.

A fourth person, Jennifer Gaines, formerly of Newton who had recently moved to Derry, died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head on Monday night.

The county attorney did not say what the relationship between Gaines and Thorkildsen was, other than that the two had children together.

'We really don't know whether they were married or not,' said Hogan.

Thorkildsen and Meacher both sustained multiple gunshot wounds and were treated at local hospitals, but neither appears to have life-threatening injuries, Hogan said. The juvenile girl was treated and released.


Full text of original article continues below.

Former town treasurer dead in multiple shooting in Mason

MASON - The former treasurer for the town of Newton died of a self-inflicted gunshot on Monday night after being involved in a multiple shooting at her home in Mason.

Jennifer Gaines, 60, of Newton, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to Hillsborough County Attorney Dennis Hogan. During a press conference outside the Mason Police Department, Hogan said that four people were shot during an incident at 317 Old Ashby Road around 10 p.m. on Monday.

Hogan identified Gaines, but refused to release the names of three other victims - one adult male, an adult female and a juvenile female - pending notification of their families. All three victims were transported to area hospitals on Monday night, and are expected to recover from their injuries, according to Hogan. The juvenile was treated and released.

The home on Old Ashby Road belonged to Gaines, who was also a former member of the board for the Sanborn Regional School District, and her husband Karl Thorkildsen, according to tax records, but Hogan said he did not know the status of the relationship between Gaines and Thorkildsen. Hogan confirmed that one of the victims shot was Gaines' husband, but he wouldn't confirm it was Thorkildsen.

It is unclear what relationship the other two females had to either Gaines or Thorkildsen.

Selectman Raymond Thayer said he knew Gaines from her time as treasurer, but also as a friend.

"She was a great woman and a true friend," he said. "This is a great loss for me."

Gaines had retired from her role as treasurer in January 2010 according to minutes of the selectmen's meeting from January 14 of that year, and Thayer said that life had become difficult for Gaines in recent years, though he wouldn't elaborate. He said he didn't know Gaines' husband Karl well.

"He wasn't quite as involved in the community," Thayer said. "He liked to stay at home and make guitars."

According to Thorkildsen's Facebook page, he creates his own bass guitars and sells them for $1,500 or more.

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