Walpole shooting victim's family seeking answers
WALPOLE - He was a loving uncle, a jokester and a prankster. He had a troubled past, but his family thought that was behind him.
On March 29, 51-year-old Larry A. Bohannon was shot and killed by police after he refused commands from Alstead and Walpole officers to get out of his vehicle and comply with their orders.
He died from gunshot wounds to the head, chest and abdomen.
"He wasn't a violent person and we have unanswered questions," said Renee Bohannon, his niece by marriage.
"I really miss him I guess," she said crying. "We know Larry. He was a jokester. He loved his family and his past was not the best."
Larry Bohannon was known to many in the family as Uncle Bo, she said.
"Do we know if Uncle Bo pointed a gun at them? All we get is that he didn't comply," she said Friday.
Her 16-year-old son has been asking, "Why did they have to shoot to kill," she said.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Janice K. Rundles declined to release more details Thursday, saying results of the investigation are expected to be released early this week.
Larry Bohannon had allegedly robbed a stationery store at gunpoint in Bellows Falls, Vt., earlier on March 29. When he fled into New Hampshire, Alstead and Walpole officers pursued him until they were able to stop the vehicle on Upper Walpole Road in Walpole where the shooting happened.
Authorities said Bohannon's last known address was in Grafton, but Renee Bohannon said he lived and worked in Massachusetts during the week and lived with his girlfriend in Winchester on the weekends.
Larry Bohannon had a criminal record. In 1994 he received two concurrent 20-year sentences for a kidnapping conviction in Sullivan County and a bail jumping conviction out of Cheshire County.
He was first paroled on those sentences in 1996 then returned to jail two more times for parole violations. He had been wanted as a fugitive from justice since July 2011 when he failed to meet with his parole officer.
He had stayed away from family members up until a year-and-a-half ago when he reconnected with siblings and nieces and nephews.
Renee Bohannon said family members wish they could have been there for Larry Bohannon.
"We do know him. He was a good person. We don't know why he did that," she said.
Renee Bohannon said she can only think Larry Bohannon was under pressure to keep financial obligations.
"I think there were broken promises he couldn't fulfill. . He had something going on that he couldn't handle," she said. "That's the only thing we can come up with.
"He did try to turn his life around. His past was his past. We were his family. People change."
Along with the pain of losing a family member, the media coverage of Bohannon, his past crimes and other crimes he might have committed has been hurtful to the family, Renee Bohannon said.
Lebanon police said last week they are looking into whether Larry Bohannon committed two unsolved armed robberies that took place in March.
"A lot of people think he's some kind of monster and he's really not a monster," Renee Bohannon said. "I know that's all they have on him is his past. But they don't know him.
"All kids adored him. . My kids don't believe he would do that."
The last time he was released from prison, Bohannon had married and had two children, Renee Bohannon said, but since the marriage broke up he had been unable to see his children.
Not being able to see his children was hard on him, she said, but "he didn't want to burden anybody."
He kept his problems to himself, she said.
Family members have been comforting each other by sharing photos on Facebook of "Uncle Bo" at the Pickle Festival in Winchester last September, or on an "Apple Pie" motorcycle run to Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge last fall.
"He was doing wonderful. We just don't know what led to this," she said.