Police probe Colby Street ties of man killed in police shootout

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Douglas Heath in a recent police mug shot and where he formerly lived on Fairway Street, left, and Colby Street. (background photos/Rochester Voice)

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story had several typos due to a technical glitch in preparing the copy. We apologize for the confusion.

GONIC - A Gonic residence where a Rochester man killed Monday in an officer-involved shooting formerly lived was still cordoned off with yellow police tape early Tuesday, a sign that investigators were trying to learn if there was any current connection he had with the property.

Meanwhile, a resident who lives near 12 Colby St. where the man formerly lived, said she believes his son still has ties to the neighborhood.

The shooting unfolded around 3 p.m. when police spotted Douglas Heath, 38, who they had learned last week via an officer alert was in possession of three firearms and "had no intention of going to jail."

A pursuit ensued and about 15 minutes Heath crashed into the corner of the Easy Street building. Moments later Heath climbed from the passenger side of his car gun in hand and started shooting, according to Attorney General Gordon MacDonald.

He was hit with a hail of bullets from police and died at the scene.

MacDonald on Monday said four officers, two from the Rochester Police Department and two from State Police, were involved in the pursuit and fatal shooting of Heath.

At this point it has not been determined which officers may have fired their weapons, MacDonald said, adding, "We are in the very early stages of this investigation." He said a gun was found near Heath's body.
MacDonald said Rochester police cruisers are equipped with video cameras and microphones and they would be reviewing that footage as part of the probe. State Police cruisers are not equipped with any cameras.

"At least one private citizen did capture some portions of the incident by video," said MacDonald.
MacDonald said each officer involved is being placed on administrative leave and their names will be withheld for now.
An autopsy is expected to be performed on Heath on Thursday.

The troopers and officers were all evaluated and released from a local hospital.

No one else was injured in the incident.

Heath was reportedly wanted on warrants for drug trafficking and fleeing from Maine State Police.

On Tuesday Maine State Police released information on how Heath attempted to elude them back in June.

The chase originated in Sanford on June 11 when officers there spotted Heath and tried to pull him over because they knew he was wanted on drug charges out of Rochester.

State Police continued the chase for a couple of miles into Lebanon but terminated the pursuit due to public safety and because they knew who the driver was.

Heath's car was later tracked to a residence on Second Street in Lebanon where he was living at the time.

Police later learned that Heath had fled on foot and had likely been picked up by a vehicle and left the area. Meanwhile, Heath has had several skirmishes with Rochester Police, the most recent of which was an April 13 arrest - likely a traffic stop - for driving without headlamps and seven counts of illegal drug possession.

That arrest listed his home address as 12 Colby St. in Gonic.

On July 26, 2017, when he was listed as living at 20 Fairway Ave., Rochester, he was charged with criminal liability for conduct of another.

And on Dec. 11, 2016, Heath was arrested by Rochester Police on a warrant.

Anyone who witnessed what happened is asked to contact Sgt. Justin Rowe of the New Hampshire Police Major Crime Unit at 271-3636.

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