The Claremont man who took his clothes off and shot hundreds of rounds of ammunition at police, igniting a day-long standoff last year, is not competent to stand trial yet, according a ruling handed down this month.
Michael Burns, 56, formerly of Hanover Street in Claremont, is to appear in Sullivan County Superior Court later this summer as officials try to determine if there is a treatment available that can restore Burns’ competency.
Judge Brian Tucker wrote in his order that Dr. Tiffany Piascik, the psychiatrist who examined Burns for the state, found that Burns suffers from mental illness and delusional thinking and is not now able to go to trial. However, Burns’ condition could change with appropriate treatment.
“Dr. Piascik has the opinion that with treatment, Burns’s restoration to competency within the next twelve months is likely,” Sullivan wrote.
Sullivan is ordering a hearing to determine if treatment should be ordered.
Burns’ August standoff with police started when officers arrived at his house at 5:20 a.m. on Aug. 15 after his landlord reported hearing gunshots, according to court records.
Burns was known to keep guns in a safe, according to court records, including an SKS-style rifle that police say they saw him using at one point in the standoff. An SKS rifle is a Soviet-designed semi-automatic weapon that can fire 35 to 40 rounds of ammunition per minute.
The New Hampshire State Police SWAT team responded to the area as police cordoned off a section of the city. Burns reportedly shot at police, neighboring homes, and police vehicles during the standoff, according to the affidavit. No one was injured despite hundreds of rounds of ammunition being fired.
Three days before the standoff, Burns allegedly assaulted a Claremont man and threatened to kill him, according to court records.
Burns was charged in Maine in 2008 after he allegedly stripped naked and ran around his neighborhood threatening to burn his neighbors’ houses and to shoot them. Those charges were later dropped.