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Police chief dead, four officers wounded in Greenland shootout; suspected gunman found dead in home
GREENLAND - The man officials believe killed the Greenland Police Chief and shot four other officers was found dead inside his Post Road home around 2 a.m. today along with a female acquaintance, according to Attorney General Michael Delaney
At an early-morning news conference Delaney identified the gunman as Cullen Mutrie, 29, a former Hampton Falls firefighter and resident of the home at 517 Post Road where the shooting occurred.
Delaney said authorities are investigating whether Mutrie and the woman, whose name is not being released until an autopsy confirms her identity, died of gunshot wounds as a result of a double suicide or a murder-suicide. The Attorney General's Office has indicated autopsies on Mutrie and the woman will take place tomorrow.
Officials believe Mutrie shot and killed Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney, 48, and shot four other officers after police arrived with a search warrant and discovered that a drug deal may have been taking place. An autopsy performed today determined that Maloney died from a gunshot wound to the head.
The other officers were identified as:
-- Detective Gregory Turner, 32, a six-year veteran of the Dover Police Department. He suffered a gunshot wound to the shoulder and was treated and released from Portsmouth Regional Hospital.
-- Detective Eric Kulberg, 31, was shot in the arm. The seven-year veteran of the University of New Hampshire police force was also treated and released from the hospital.
-- Detective Scott Kukesh, 33, a 10-year veteran of the Newmarket Police Department. He was in the hospital's intensive care unit with a bullet in his chest, awaiting surgery.
-- Detective Jeremiah Murphy, 34, also remains in the ICU with a bullet wound to the chest. Just after midnight, the seven-year veteran of the Rochester Police Department had come out of surgery.
A candlelight vigil will be held tonight at 6:15 outside the town offices.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane E. Young said an autopsy is expected to be done this afternoon on the body of the police chief. She does not expect autopsies will be performed on Mutrie and the woman until Saturday.
She said investigators are processing the scene and declined to answer questions about the incident, including whether or not officers were wearing bullet-resistant vests of if they fired back at the gunman.
The deadly shootout took place around 6 p.m. Thursday when Maloney and the four officers, who were assigned to the Attorney General's Drug Task Force, arrived to execute a search warrant. Greenland police were assisting the task force at the time, Delaney said.
"They attempted to gain entry into the residence when they arrived and as they attempted to gain entry gunshots were fired and the officers were struck," Delaney said.
A tactical team quickly moved in and attempted to begin negotiations with those inside, Delaney said.
"The tactical team was able to have brief contact with Mr. Mutrie, and had some brief conversation with him, but that conversation ended shortly thereafter and for a long period of the evening there was no contact with the individuals inside the residence," Delaney said.
With no contact inside, the tactical team decided to send a robot into the home around 2 a.m. Friday, at which time the two were found dead with gunshot wounds.
Autopsies on Maloney, Mutrie and the woman are expected to be performed sometime Friday, Delaney said.
Delaney said the number of weapons that may have been involved in the incident is not known.
State Police are expected to be at the scene throughout the day, Delaney said.
The shooting left Mutrie's neighbor, Tammy Sullivan, in tears as she recalled how she saw three of the police officers shot when she looked out her window after hearing gunfire.
"I saw the officers shot from the house and I saw them go down. They were running from the house and the guy started shooting like crazy. All of a sudden cops came flying from everywhere. I saw a lot of officers running around," she said.
Sullivan lives across the street from 517 Post Road where the shooting occurred.
Sullivan said the SWAT vehicle moved in behind the house just after 8:30 p.m. and police told Sullivan to stay in her basement.
As the night went on with Mutrie and the woman still inside, Sullivan said she could hear police trying to negotiate with them outside. An armored SWAT team vehicle was in front of the home.
Sullivan said the house was completely surrounded as police tried to get them to surrender.
Sullivan said they told him that they didn't "want anybody else hurt and they want this to be a safe night."
An emotional Sullivan said she knows Maloney personally and is shocked by the incident.
“We're all such a close-knit community. It's really sad,” she said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of officers converged on Greenland Central School during the night, filling the parking lot with cruisers, armored vehicles, and lighting equipment. Friday classes were canceled at the school.
Multiple K-9 units barked from various police cruisers as uniformed officers from all over the state and beyond poured in to help. Units from New Hampshire Fish and Game were on the scene, as was a giant utility truck from PSNH.
A few bystanders gathered on the street near the school, but most people stayed away.
At Portsmouth Regional Hospital, the emergency room entrance was blocked by police officers for hours after the wounded officers arrived.
Details of Mutrie's past began to emerge in the hours after the shooting. Hampton Falls Fire Chief Jay Lord confirmed Mutrie was a former volunteer member of the Hampton Falls Fire Department.
Lord said he was "no longer a member as of two years ago." He declined to comment further on Mutrie, but added, "My thoughts and prayers are with our brothers in public safety."
Court documents show Mutrie was also indicted on charges of possession of a controlled drug last May for having a variety of anabolic steroids.
The tragedy is being felt across the state. Gov. John Lynch ordered flags flown at half-staff in Maloney's honor.
“My thoughts and prayers and those of my wife, Susan, are with the family of Chief Michael Maloney. Chief Maloney's unwavering courage and commitment to protecting others serves as an example to us all. I ask the people of New Hampshire to join me in honoring the sacrifice of Chief Maloney, and supporting his family at this time," he said in a prepared statement. “Our deepest condolences also go out to the Greenland Police Department and the entire community."
Lynch continued: “We are also praying for the recovery of Officers Eric Kulberg of the University of New Hampshire Police Department, Scott Kukesh of Newmarket, Greg Turner of Dover and Jeremiah Murphy of Rochester, who were wounded during this incident."
Rockingham County Sheriff Michael Downing also expressed his condolences.
"It's a terrible tragedy and my heart goes out to the families of the police officers that have been hurt. It's a dark night for law enforcement," he said.
Downing said Chief Maloney had an "outstanding career" in law enforcement and was about to retire.
Downing continued," New Hampshire is one of the safest states in the country, but this incident can happen here as well as in metropolitan areas. These guys put their lives on the line every day when they go out and put their uniforms on."
The shooting comes three weeks after Manchester police Officer Daniel Doherty was shot multiple times, allegedly by 22-year-old Myles Webster.
Doherty is recovering from gunshots to his leg and torso.
A memorial fund in Maloney's name has been established. Checks can be made payable to the Mike Maloney Family Trust, c/o Optima Bank, 2 Harbour Place, Portsmouth, N.H. 03801.
(Staff Writers Tim Buckland and Pat Grossmith contributed to this report.)
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- Whom do you think bears the brunt of the blame for the mayhem this weekend in Keene?
- KSC students
- KSC administration
- Visitors from out of town
- A combination of any/all of the above
- Total Votes: 2483