CONCORD - The Attorney General's office announced today that police were justified in the officer shooting of a Nashua man last September.
The incident unfolded around 10:25 p.m. on Sept. 19 when several Nashua Police Officers responded to a residence located at 21 Hunt St. to investigate a criminal threatening complaint. An individual had reported to police that a male subject had threatened him as he walked by the driveway of 21 Hunt St., earlier in the evening. The complainant alleged that the male subject was brandishing a long-barreled firearm in a threatening manner.
When the officers arrived at the residence, they observed William Case, 59, inside in possession of what appeared to be a long-barreled firearm. Case refused to exit the residence or to relinquish the firearm, but approached the side-door of the home while still holding the firearm. The officers moved away from the residence, and additional officers were called to the scene in order to establish a perimeter around the area.
At about 12:26 a.m. on Sept 20 Case opened the side-door of the residence while in possession of the long-barreled firearm, and in the ensuing encounter, Officer Matthew Foss fired one non-lethal beanbag round, striking Case in his upper abdomen. In addition, almost simultaneously, Officer John Colangelo fired one round from his patrol rifle, striking Case in his chest.
Case was hospitalized for his wounds and survived.
A subsequent search of the residence determined that Case's firearm was an air rifle, consistent in appearance with an actual rifle.
After a thorough investigation Officer Colangelo's shooting of Case was found to be justified under the law, Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald said.
The Hillsborough County Attorney's Office has charged Case in connection with the underlying criminal threatening incident. That charge is pending.
As a result, the Attorney General's Office is unable to release further information about its investigation at this time, a press release noted.
However, when the current legal proceedings against Case have concluded, the full report will be issued.