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January 09. 2013 10:20PM

Identity of officer who shot suicidal man in Mont Vernon withheld

MONT VERNON - Three days after police shot and wounded a Mont Vernon man during a call to a Pond Road residence, investigators are still not releasing the name of the local police officer who pulled the trigger.

A representative from the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office is remaining tight-lipped about the incident, refusing on Wednesday to elaborate on the case.

"At this point we are not identifying the officer involved. We are working on getting those details available soon," said Assistant Attorney General James Vara.

On Sunday evening, police responded to a home at 15 Pond Road for a report of a suicidal man.

Authorities from Mont Vernon, Amherst and Milford responded to the scene, and when the first officers arrived, they encountered Geoffrey Bidwell who was allegedly suicidal, investigators said earlier this week. Vara would not comment on whether any threats were made to police or other members of the household, nor would he say whether any guns or other weapons were in Bidwell's possession.

During his interaction with authorities, Bidwell was eventually shot by a Mont Vernon police officer, according to police. Investigators are not commenting on the extent of Bidwell's injuries, but said he was transported to a Massachusetts hospital where he was initially listed in stable condition.

Mont Vernon Police Chief Kyle Aspinwall has referred all questions to the Attorney General's Office. The state agency will now investigate the incident and determine whether the shooting was justified.

Meanwhile, the police officer involved in the shooting has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol in these types of scenarios, Aspinwall told the New Hampshire Union Leader earlier this week. When asked how long it may take the Attorney General's Office to issue its report on the incident, Vara said, "I think it depends on the intricacies of the case," adding it should be released in the near future.

"We are continuing with follow-ups, and continuing our investigation," he said, declining to explain what may have led to the shooting or what type of confrontation may have ensued.



khoughton@newstote.com


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