Target of undercover heroin buy killed by Weare police, two cruisers damaged but officers uninjured
WEARE - An undercover drug deal turned deadly Wednesday night leaving the target of the investigation dead and two unmarked police cruisers damaged.
Outside Weare Police Station Thursday morning, Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said an undercover drug buy was to take place at Dunkin' Donuts at Lanctot's Plaza on Route 114 on Wednesday night about 10 pm. Several Weare police officers, two confidential informants and the male target of the investigation met at the plaza.
However, at some point during the sting to net the alleged heroin dealer, the deal went sour and the suspect, whose name police have yet to release, tried to flee.
Assistant Attorney General Susan G. Morrell said two Weare police officers fired their weapons, wounding him as he drove off in a green Acura, not a red Saturn as initially reported.
The Acura crashed a few hundred yards from the plaza and two undercover police cars, in close pursuit of him, then crashed as well, but neither officer was injured.
One of the officers, driving a gray Ford Taurus, hit a large pine tree, setting off the airbag, while the other officer crashed a Dodge Durango.
A fourth car – a red Saturn parked at the site and which had no involvement in the incident – was also struck, according to Assistant Attorney General Susan G. Morrell.
The wounded man was transported Wednesday night to Catholic Medical Center in Manchester where he later died. The exact cause of death will be determined by the autopsy.
Morrell said his name will not be released until after an autopsy on Friday. The names of the officers involved in the shooting also will not be released until after the preliminary investigation is complete by the State Police Major Crimes Unit, expected several weeks from now.
Both officers were placed on paid administrative leave, standard practice in police shooting investigations.
Morrell would not say if the man who was killed was armed or if he exchanged gunfire with the officers. She declined to comment on any details of the undercover drug sting that led to the shooting, saying only that the situation remains under investigation.
Shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday, police had two vehicles, a gray Ford station wagon and a blue Ford pick-up truck, towed from the parking lot in front of Dunkin' Donuts. Morrell would not say what connection the two vehicles had to the incident, if any.
Just after 9 a.m., troopers began removing yellow caution tape from around the perimeter of the Dunkin' Donuts. Though closed immediately after the shooting, Route 114 in Weare is now open as are all of the businesses in the plaza with the exception of the Dunkin' Donuts.