David Donovan

David Donovan stands on a ledge on West Rattlesnake Mountain in Sandwich last week.

A 35-year-old man killed in an officer-involved shooting Sunday night in Meredith died of gunshot wounds to the abdomen and right arm, the Attorney General’s Office said Monday.

The death of David Donovan at 10 Bennett Drive in Meredith was ruled a homicide by Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jennie V. Duval, who performed an autopsy on Monday.

“The exact circumstances surrounding this incident remain actively under investigation,” Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald said in a statement.

The name of the Meredith police officer who fired the shots is being withheld until a formal interview is completed.

Three other people were injured before police arrived in the Pinecrest Apartments affordable-housing complex just off Route 3. One, a man, remains hospitalized in stable condition, according to the AG’s office.

Erica Fry, who lives in the Pinecrest Apartments, said Monday she was one of those victims, “nicked” by a knife in the arm and stomach after she saw Donovan chasing two of his family members and tried to calm him by embracing him. She said she was unaware he had a knife.

Some 30 seconds later, Fry said four police officers arrived and when Donovan went outside, one of them deployed a Taser, but failed to subdue him.

The officers had their guns drawn on Donovan, said Fry, and “He (Donovan) was begging not to die,” when the shots were fired.

Fry said Donovan had been staying with her for the past couple of weeks. Before the shooting, they were having “a few drinks” and singing and playing music, Fry said. Donovan was a musician and a fixture at venues and open-mic events throughout the Lakes Region, Fry said. He usually lived at his family home on nearby Frances Court.

Around 8 p.m. Sunday, Donovan got a phone call that seemed to upset him. Fry said she heard things being smashed in her apartment and later found a broken window and guitars; Donovan had returned to his family’s home on Frances Court. Fry called her brother to talk about what had happened, and he called Meredith police.

Donovan and two of his family members then came back to Fry’s apartment. She heard a commotion and saw Donovan chasing after them.

There was “no reason to shoot him (Donovan),” said Fry, adding that there should have been another way for police to take him into custody.

“He was a phenomenally talented musician,” artist and writer, who played the ukulele, guitar and piano and who could take a popular song, deconstruct it and teach it to her and her children, Fry said.

According to the Campton-based Slippery Situation band’s Facebook page, Donovan was “rhythm/lead guitar, ukulele, vocals, writing” for the group, which plays “Caribbean jazz, Reggae, Ska, Blues.”

He was arrested Oct. 26 in Meredith for domestic violence-simple assault; the alleged victim told police Donovan had thrown an acorn squash at her. Fry said Donovan had hoped to reconcile with the woman.

Donovan was scheduled to appear in court Dec. 28 on the charge.

Thursday, December 03, 2020
Wednesday, December 02, 2020