AG says Alstead officer justified in deadly shooting of armed robbery suspect
An Alstead police officer was justified in using deadly force to fatally shoot a Vermont armed robbery suspect in Walpole March 29 after the suspect fled across the state border, New Hampshire Attorney General Michael A. Delaney announced Wednesday.
Larry A. Bohannon, 51, refused to comply with Officer Cameron Prior's commands to "Drop the gun!" and continued to handle what appeared to be a pistol in the cab of his pickup truck when police shot him, Delaney wrote in his nine-page report.
"Mr. Bohannon refused to comply with officers' demands that he show his hands, and appeared to be reaching for something, after which he did have a black handgun in his hand. Therefore, the police officer who fired upon Mr. Bohannon was further justified by his reasonable belief that he was confronting a fleeing felon who was likely to endanger human life or inflict serious bodily injury unless apprehended," Delaney wrote.
Bohannon was hit with five shots. Two hit him in the chest. The rest hit him in the abdomen, rib cage, groin and head.
Bohannon slumped face down in the cab after being hit in the head.
Officers later found a black handgun in his jacket. The weapon looked like a Sig Sauer pistol and turned out to be a pellet gun, Delaney said.
Alstead police were alerted to Bohannon by a Cheshire County dispatch about 4:15 p.m. describing Bohannon's pickup truck and warning the driver was wanted for an armed robbery involving a firearm in Bellows Falls, Vt., about 15 minutes earlier.
Bohannon fled across the New Hampshire state line, traveling at speeds of up to 80 mph and illegally passing vehicles, the report said. With police in pursuit, Bohannon drove his truck onto a lawn in a residential area of Upper Walpole Road when police rammed his truck, forcing it to flip.
Police officers said they saw Bohannon fumbling with something with his hands while in the cab of his truck.
Bohannon's last-known residence was in Grafton.