Stratham officer, Charles Law, honored for heroics at Greenland shooting
STRATHAM - Stratham police Officer Charles Law hugged his 4-year-old daughter, Kadence, moments after he was awarded a Medal of Valor on Monday night for his efforts to save two officers wounded in a deadly shooting in Greenland.
As he dodged bullets on the night of April 12 outside the home of shooter Cullen Mutrie, Law's daughter and wife, Kim, were on his mind.
He knew he had a family waiting for him at home, but he also knew he had a job to do.
Mutrie's hail of gunfire left four officers with the Attorney General's Drug Task Force seriously wounded outside his house. Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was killed by the gunfire.
'I had brother officers that were down. I had to go in there and rescue them. The true hero that day is obviously Chief Maloney. He made the ultimate sacrifice,' Law said after the ceremony.
Law, 44, was awarded the Medal of Valor in front of about 200 people at the Stratham Town Offices, including 70 uniformed police officers and military personnel.
Stratham Police Chief John Scippa said Law responded to the scene of the shooting at 6:22 p.m. and was told that numerous officers were shot and 'pinned down by gunfire.'
Law arrived within minutes of the call and drove his cruiser into the line of fire to reach the wounded officers. Scippa did not identify the officers he saved.
'While under fire, Officer Law exited his police car to assist the officers. Two seriously wounded officers were loaded into Officer Law's car at which time he evacuated these two officers from their pinned down position to a waiting ambulance,' Scippa said.
Law then raced back to the scene and prepared to rescue more officers. He maintained his position and assisted with containing an armed and barricaded Mutrie for several hours.
'We would all gladly trade in all the medals that we could to have it back the way it was, and we know we can't. But we can, and we will, honor Chief Mike Maloney for his valor and we will remember the four Drug Task Force officers for their valor,' Scippa said.
Law has since met with the officers he helped rescue.
'They just thanked me for what I did,' said Law, who has spent 13 years as an officer with the Stratham Police Department and 25 years with the New Hampshire Air National Guard working with security forces.
But like the many other officers who responded that night, Law doesn't consider himself a hero.
'I was just doing my job,' he said.
Law's wife, Kim, said she was proud of what her husband did that night. She knew that he had responded to the shooting and was kept updated by Stratham police, but said she didn't know just how bad the situation was as it unfolded.
As a wife and mother, she said she always worries about him, but understands that he has a job to do and feels the shooting has made the family stronger.
Kim said their daughter was aware that something was going on.
'That night there was a lot of activity and we could hear the helicopters so she knew and she knew that Daddy wasn't coming home. She kept saying, 'When's Daddy coming home, when's Daddy coming home?'' she recalled.
There was relief when he walked through the door at about 2 a.m.
Greenland Police Chief Tara Laurent, who replaced Maloney, commended Law and all of the officers who helped that night.
'There were so many heroes that night,' she said.