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AG's office says Nashua officer-involved shooting in March justified
On Friday, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office released a five-page document detailing the March 22 incident between Officer Stephen Morrill and Craig Riley, 41, of Nashua.
While investigating a report of shoplifting incidents at Wal-Mart and Hannaford’s in Bedford, Morrill was in search of a van registered to Riley’s mother. Upon seeing the van pulling into a parking spot at 5 New Haven Drive — a condominium development — Morrill recognized Riley getting out of the van.
A pursuit ensued, and a struggle eventually took place when Morrill “felt Riley’s hand come over and touch Officer Morrill’s gun,” says the document.
Eventually, Riley got control of Morrill’s baton, which had been dropped during the struggle, says the report. When Riley raised the baton in the air and over his head, Morrill believed that Riley was going to hit him on the head, according to the report. Morrill then fired two shots at Riley.
“He did so only when he felt that his life was in danger, making a split-second decision that he needed to respond to what he reasonably believed was Riley’s imminent use of deadly force as Riley swung at Officer Morrill’s head with the baton,” says the report.
Riley has since been indicted on 16 felony charges in connection with the incident. His attorney has filed a notice of defense motion at Hillsborough County Superior Court, reserving Riley’s right to a self-defense claim.
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