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Wanted felon, shot at by police, facing attempted murder charges after driving SUV at Manchester officers, police say

September 07. 2018 7:06AM

MANCHESTER — A wanted felon is facing attempted murder charges following an incident in which Manchester police said officers fired upon a vehicle he drove at them.

The officer-involved shooting happened at about 9:20 p.m. Thursday at Flaherty Lane and Hecker Street on the city’s West Side.

Police said Justin McInnes, 29, of Manchester, was wanted on several warrants. One was for reckless conduct in a July 27 road rage incident where he allegedly struck another vehicle with his car. Another one happened Wednesday, in which he was briefly chased by a Manchester police officer. 

According to police, on Thursday afternoon officers surrounded the area of 64 Flaherty Lane to conduct surveillance on McInnes, a city man with a lengthy criminal record who was a suspect in a recent shooting on the West Side.

They believed that McInnes was inside the house with a firearm and possibly children, according to an affidavit filed in Hillsborough County Superior Court North on Friday, and that he was deploying “counter surveillance methods.”

Around 9 p.m., McInnes and another man, later identified as Shaun Turgeon, got into a black Jeep SUV. As the car backed into Flaherty Lane, officers approached it identifying themselves as police and ordering the men to stop, according to the affidavit.

Instead, McInnes accelerated toward the three officers, who fired several shots at the Jeep and dove out of the way in order to avoid being hit. The Jeep was disabled by the shots and crashed at a nearby intersection, where McInnes was taken into custody without further incident.

McInnes has been charged with three counts of attempted murder, each of which carries a possible maximum sentence of life in prison, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Officers allegedly found a loaded revolver on the driver-side floor of the Jeep.

Police said McInnes sustained non-life threatening injuries most likely caused by broken glass and other shrapnel from his vehicle. He was taken to an area hospital, where he was treated and released before being processed at police headquarters.

Lt. Brandon Murphy, who authored the affidavit filed in court, wrote that the officers’ accounts of the incident were corroborated by eyewitnesses, security camera footage, and Turgeon, who told investigators that he had been yelling at McInnes to stop the car.

Turgeon allegedly told officers that, although he had only known McInnes for several weeks, McInnes had told him that he had previously eluded Manchester police in a chase and that if they caught up to him he would “shoot it out.” He also reported that McInnes had a bullet-proof vest and had talked about buying firearms on the street, according to the affidavit.

On Friday, there was no evidence of the chaotic scene on Flaherty Lane, but neighbors said the police action lasted until around 6 a.m.

“We have some stupid people here in Manchester who can’t keep to themselves or keep clean,” said one neighbor, who asked that her name not be used. “It’s getting bad on the West Side.”

Another neighbor said the apartment building at 64 Flaherty Lane, where McInnes had been staying, was occasionally a trouble spot. In July, police found a 5-year-old child sleeping in a fetid apartment with a loaded gun on her chest. They arrested the girl’s father and charged him with reckless conduct.

“This building, sometimes it’s quiet — I haven’t had any trouble since I moved here — but sometimes you get bad tenants,” said the neighbor, who asked to be identified only as Tracy.

A day before police arrested McInnes on Flaherty Lane, an officer had seen McInnes, who is a suspect in a recent shooting at 5 Barr St., and pulled him over on an I-293 on-ramp, according to a separate police report.

When the officer exited his cruiser to speak to McInnes, who was driving a Saab, McInnes drove off. The officer pursued, but ended the chase after it reached speeds of 105 miles per hour and the Saab was gaining distance.

At the time, McInnes was also wanted in connection to a road rage incident on Aug. 27, during which he allegedly spit on a woman sitting in the passenger seat of a car, reversed his own vehicle, and rammed the car before driving off.

McInnes was ordered held without bail.

The scene of an officer-involved shooting on Thursday night in Manchester. (JEFF HASTINGS)

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