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Man shot by Nashua police still alive, now in stable condition

Union Leader Correspondent

June 27. 2018 4:46PM
A portion of Ledge Street in Nashua is cordoned off Wednesday as authorities investigate an officer-involved shooting that happened Tuesday night. (Kimberly Houghton)

NASHUA -- A distraught man who was shot by police Tuesday night and is expected to survive posted a cryptic message to Facebook about 10 p.m.

“To anyone that will miss me when I’m gone, I’m so sorry -- I just can’t do it anymore,” wrote Justin Contreras, 29.

Six days earlier, Contreras posted a photo of a revolver with it’s cylinder slung open and loaded with five different bullets.

When a friend asked him “What’s what?” Contreras replied, “The judge.”

Authorities are investigating what led to an officer-involved shooting Tuesday night on Ledge Street.

“I do have limited information,” said Peter Hinckley, senior assistant Attorney General, about noon Wednesday. “That person is still alive. My last understanding is that they are in stable condition, that is what I last heard.”

Hinckley would only say that a Nashua police officer was involved in a shooting related to a call to do a welfare check at 106 Ledge St. about 10 p.m. That officer and two others present at the time of the shooting were not identified.

“Pursuant to protocol, the names of the officers involved in the incident are being withheld pending the conclusion of the formal interviews of all three, which is expected to occur at the end of the week,” the Attorney General’s office said in a statement.

A portion of Ledge Street was still cordoned off with yellow crime scene tape Wednesday, New Hampshire State Police were seen entering and exiting the multi-unit apartment building.

“It is really still scary that we don’t know exactly what happened,” said Margaret Caiado who lives nearby on Grand Avenue. “There is just too much going on in this city.”

Caiado said she slept through all of the activity on Tuesday night, but said she was saddened to learn of the shooting.

“It happened so close by. I already want to move out of Nashua anyway -- this doesn’t help matters,” she said. “It is still scary.”

Hinckley would not say whether there were any gunshots before police arrived.

“This is why we do a thorough investigation,” he said, stressing that no police were injured in the incident. “It takes as long as it takes. Every case is different.”

Contreras was the only injury, he said.

The Attorney General’s office and State Police Major Crime Unit are responsible for investigating the shooting as it involved local police.

Beatrice Farland who lives nearby on Grand Avenue describes it as a quiet neighborhood.

“It is sad when people get hurt and you just don’t know why, but I still feel safe,” she said.

The 90-year-old is taking the shooting in stride, saying that although the incident is surprising, it is also rare for her area of the city.

“I live alone and it can be hard, but this doesn’t really bother me,” Farland said. Still, she said she’s grateful to have her Lifeline necklace and a dog to keep her safe, as well as an alert on her door.

It was unclear when residents of the Ledge Street building will be able to return to their apartments.

Hinckley said his department and state police will investigate all of the circumstances that led up to the shooting, focusing on whether the officer was legally justified and whether any charges are warranted.

Once that investigation is complete and there’s a recommendation, a detailed report will be made public, Hinckley said. As for now, several witnesses need to be interviewed and additional evidence may need to be collected, including possible forensic evidence, he said.

The number of witnesses and how much they cooperate are factors in how long the investigation will take, Hinckley said.

Michael David Jackson, who lives on Ledge Street, said he was trying to return home Tuesday night when he found the road blocked by police cruisers.

“Shootings are so commonplace now, but thankfully they have dropped off significantly in Nashua,” he said. “It is unfortunate that things come to this point.”

Jackson said he’s always felt safe in the Ledge Street neighborhood, but admits he has a carry permit and several guns.

“I have lived in this house for 12 years and this is the first time I can ever recall a shooting here. This is safer than the Tree Streets,” said Jackson. “I feel like this is more of an anomaly.”

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