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Five-day Manchester manhunt ends with murder suspect in custody

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

September 12. 2018 9:51PM
Murder suspect Paul Dimick was captured Wednesday at 315 East High St. in Manchester. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)



PAUL DIMICK

MANCHESTER — After a tense, hours-long standoff followed by a five-day manhunt, police on Wednesday afternoon found homicide suspect Paul Dimick holed up in a home less than a half-mile from the crime scene.

Police captured and arrested Dimick, 26, after receiving a tip he was staying in an apartment at 315 E. High Street — 0.4 miles away from where police say he shot and killed Justin Lee, 32, of Manchester outside an apartment building at 357 Hanover St. last Friday morning.

Lee was transported to Elliot Hospital where he later died. An autopsy determined that he died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.

"I can't believe he was across the street the whole time," said Anthony LaPorta, a resident of 314 E. High St., just opposite the yard where Dimick was captured.

Last Friday, police said Dimick was seen entering a Maple Street building after he had shot Lee. SWAT teams headed to 342 and 445 Maple St. and searched a total of seven apartments with attics and basements.

Some of the windows had a direct line of sight with nearby Manchester High School Central, leading police and school officials to put the campus in lockdown — keeping all 1,200 students in place in the school until they were evacuated by bus to Hillside School just before 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Manchester Police Chief Carlo Capano later said he was certain Dimick had gone into those apartments and somehow at a later point exited, escaping police.

On Wednesday, Manchester police received a tip that Dimick was in the area of East High and Malvern streets, according to a statement from the Attorney General's office.

"I'm very pleased with our investigators," Capano said at a news conference Wednesday. "We received a tip, and our investigators went out to look into that tip. They were in the area of East High Street, and one of our detectives actually observed Mr. Dimick. He fled, they gave chase, and one of our detectives was able to apprehend him without incident."

Dimick was charged with reckless second-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in Hillsborough County Superior Court North.

Lee's sister, Kimberly Rose, said Wednesday she is thankful Dimick is off the streets.

"We are greatly appreciative of all the hard work that the Manchester Police Department put into apprehending Paul Dimick," wrote Rose in an email to a Union Leader reporter. "Their efforts have not gone unrecognized."

“I can't believe he was across the street the whole time,” said Anthony LaPorta, a resident of 314 E. High Street, just opposite the yard where homicide suspect Paul Dimick was captured Wednesday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

Neighbors react 

Anthony LaPorta lives across the street from 315 E. High St. He said his two daughters, both students at Manchester High School Central who were involved in Friday's lockdown, arrived home from class around 3 p.m. Wednesday to find their street closed off by police. Officers escorted them to his house, and made sure they got inside safely. 

LaPorta said after his daughters called him to describe the scene, he rushed home. 

"An officer told me they got Dimick," said LaPorta. "I guess he tried to go out a back window of the place and run, but they got him." 

LaPorta said the neighborhood is typically very quiet, but things changed recently at 315 High St. 

"They covered the basement windows, installed cameras outside the house," said LaPorta. "People are coming and going at odd hours. The place has been giving me a bad feeling." 

"I'm just glad they got the guy," added LaPorta. 

Capano said he understands if residents have felt "on edge" since the shooting, with Dimick remaining on the lam for days. 

"It's chaotic," said Capano. "Our investigators have been working tirelessly around the clock. It creates a situation where people are unsettled, and we understand." 

Capano said it's not uncommon for the subject of a manhunt to be found in close proximity to where the crime they are accused of committing took place. 

"My experience is it's not unusual that they would still be in the area," said Capano. "We see that quite a bit."

Manchester Police Chief Carlo Capano said it’s not unusual for the subject of a manhunt to be found close to where the crime they are accused of committing took place, as was the case with homicide suspect Paul Dimmick. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

Reward offered 

On Tuesday, police announced rewards totaling $5,000 were being offered for information leading to Dimick's capture and arrest. A $2,500 reward was offered through the Crimeline for assistance in apprehending Dimick, with Alderman At-Large and local restaurateur Joe Kelly Levasseur personally matching the reward being offered with an additional $2,500, bringing the total to $5,000. 

Capano said "there's no doubt" the reward money helped draw out the tip that led them to Dimick. On Wednesday, Levasseur said he would make good on his promise. 

"This is a check that I'm very happy to write," said Levasseur. "It's nice to see that everyone is safe, especially Manchester Police Department officers. They did a great job, they didn't give up and they're all going to go home to their significant others tonight. We had a guy who was desperate with nothing to lose, so it was very important this community got behind the MPD and stepped up to get this man off the streets." 

Mayor Joyce Craig thanked city police for their diligence in bringing Dimick to justice. 

"I think it's safe to say the community is relieved he is in custody, and everyone is safe," said Craig.

Union Leader Staff Writer Todd Feathers contributed to this report.


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