Manchester Police said this picture of an altered, Don't Tread On Me flag inside an Amory Street residence was what triggered a fight Saturday that resulted in two people shot and two charged in connection with the incident. A Concord man is in stable but critical condition with gunshot wounds while a Raymond woman who witnessed the fight and was accidentally shot in the leg, treated and released for her injuries.
Police: Free State supporter among two shot over porcupine flag
MANCHESTER — The man shot on the West Side over the weekend, apparently over a dispute about a flag bearing a porcupine symbol, is active in the Free State Project, according to movement leaders.
Jarrod Ean-Dixon, 36, was on the ground early Saturday morning when he was kicked in the head and then shot multiple times in the abdomen, according to a police affidavit filed Monday in Manchester District Court.
“Such a sad story. Jarrod is a good guy and I hope the thugs who did this to him go to prison for a long time,” wrote Free State Project founder Jason Sorens in a Facebook post. “More than that, though, I hope Jarrod pulls through, and it sounds as if he will.”
Sorens described Ean-Dixon as a native New Hampshire resident who is a friend of the movement.
Two people arrested in connection with the assault — Chester resident Michael Sirois, 22, and Sandown resident Jason Gerry, 21 — are scheduled to be arraigned in Manchester District Court this morning.
Both were released on bail after the shooting.
Police have said the dispute was over the use of a porcupine on a yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag, rather than the traditional curled snake. Police have said Sirois believed the porcupine was a desecration of the flag.
The symbol of a porcupine graces the home page of the Free State Project website.
Carla Gericke, the former president of the Free State Project, said Ean-Dixon is the son of a schoolteacher.
“They’re a great family that has certainly been involved in the Free State Project and liberty movement for years,” said Gericke, who also lives on the West Side and is running for the New Hampshire Senate.
Gericke said she is not familiar with Sirois and Gerry.
According to the police affidavit, Ean-Dixon was outside an apartment building at 131 Amory St., arguing with Sirois and Gerry about the flag, when a witness saw Gerry throw a “sucker punch” to the face of Ean-Dixon.
A fourth person, Kasondra Williams, 20, pulled Gerry away from the fight, witness Michael Robinson told police.
Ean-Dixon and Sirois started fighting, and both fell to the ground, the witness told police. Gerry broke free, ran over and kicked Ean-Dixon in the face, according to police.
The witness “observed Sirois pull a gun from his waistline while on the ground, and fired four shots at Ean-Dixon at near point-blank range,” the police report reads.
Witnesses told police that Sirois, Gerry and Williams piled into a white BMW and sped away, with Williams yelling she had been shot.
Within minutes after receiving the report, police pulled the car over.
As he exited the car, Sirois told police the gun was on the passenger seat, the report reads.
Sirois faces a charge of first-degree assault against Ean-Dixon and a second-degree assault charge for shooting Williams in the left thigh.
Gerry has been charged with second-degree assault, driving while intoxicated and driving after suspension.
The police affidavits can be viewed below: