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Night of drinking leads to fight, hours-long standoff with Keene police

Union Leader Correspondent

April 23. 2018 4:21PM
NH State Police standby at the corner of Route 10 and West Street Monday to assist police with a Park Ave. home standoff. (Meghan Pierce)


KEENE – Police used a powdered form of pepper spray to dislodge a man they believed to be armed from a Park Avenue residence around noon Monday.

At the scene, Keene Police Lt. Steven Tenney would only say there were no injuries.  Police later identified the man taken into custody following the hours-long standoff as Justin Cole, 25, of Keene. 

Waiting across the street Monday afternoon for police to complete a search of the home was Nathan Palmer, who rents 10 Park Ave., where the standoff took place.

The incident unfolded after a night out drinking with friends, Palmer explained.

“I rent the place, but this really isn’t my deal, though. I was a bystander in my own home,” he said.

Palmer and his friends returned to the residence about 1:30 a.m. and a fight ensued between Cole and another friend, he said.

Police came to the home to investigate a report of shots fired about 2 a.m., Palmer said, though he denies hearing anything that sounded like gunfire.

“I knew he owned a gun and I knew he carried it,” Palmer said. “I was in the backroom, in the bathroom, and we had music on and stuff like that.”

Palmer said he exited the home when police arrived, was handcuffed and brought to the police station, where he was questioned and later released to walk home.

Palmer described his relationship with Cole as a drinking buddy.

“Somebody that I don’t know that well and mostly see when I’m out having some drinks,” he said. “Had some drinks yesterday, came back here and continued to have drinks afterward. An argument between two people happened ... and it just went down the tubes.”

Palmer called the entire incident a “cluster of negativity.”

Lt. Tenney said more information would be available later Monday.

Crime General News Keene


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