AG's office releases names of troopers involved in liquor store shooting
HAMPTON — The Attorney General’s Office has released the names of the two state troopers who shot and killed Portsmouth man at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet off Interstate 95 southbound in Hampton June 13.
Sgt. Keith Walker, a 19-year member of the State Police, and Erik Willett, a five-year member of the State Police, fired their weapons at Barry Jones, 36, said Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald and State Police Col. Christopher J. Wagner in a news release issued Monday. Both troopers are assigned to the Troop A State Police barracks in Epping.
The exact circumstances surrounding the shooting remain actively under investigation.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, Jones suffered at least one gunshot wound and was transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead June 13.
According to MacDonald, the shooting happened after Portsmouth police issued a bulletin June 13, asking local authorities to be on the lookout for Jones. Police were told that Jones was intoxicated and had taken his neighbor’s 2002 silver Ford Ranger pickup truck.
MacDonald said Jones was believed to be armed with a handgun, which was reportedly pointed at an individual, and indicated that he wanted that person to drive him to Lawrence, Mass., “to get some drugs.”
Shortly after taking the truck, MacDonald said Jones crashed along Grafton Drive in Portsmouth. The crash damaged the vehicle’s front driver’s side tire, but Jones continued southbound on I-95. A state trooper spotted the truck at the liquor store.
MacDonald said an “encounter” occurred in front of the liquor store, where “one or two of the troopers discharged their weapons.”
Jones was treated at the scene before being rushed to the hospital, where he later died.
MacDonald and Wagner said they expected a preliminary report determining whether the officers’ use of deadly force was justified will be released once their investigation is complete.
Per state police protocol, both troopers remain on paid administrative leave pending the conclusion of the investigation.