Independent Panel to Review Police Shootings [VIDEO]
New details emerge about Greenland chief's death.
New Hampshire Attorney General Michael Delaney announced this afternoon that he has formed an independent panel to conduct a comprehensive review into the April 12 shooting that resulted in the death of Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney and wounded four other Drug Task Force officers.
The five-member review committee will be chaired by retired Nashua Police Chief Donald Conley and will also include Tilton Police Chief Robert Cormier, Belknap County Sheriff Craig Wiggin, retired Hudson Police Capt. William Pease, and retired judge and Portsmouth attorney Steven Roberts.
Delaney said it is important that an independent review be conducted, and he is confident that this committee is "well suited and extensively qualified" to conduct that review.
He said the review committee will conduct a review of the circumstances leading to the decision to execute a search and arrest warrant on April 12, and the manner in which the warrants were executed. The panel will also examine Drug Task Force policies and procedures and report its findings in a written document what will include an assessment of the overall operation and any recommendations "deemed appropriate."
Delaney announced the formation of the review committee at a press conference at his office.
He also spoke of what a difficult month April was for the state and the law enforcement community.
"These events remind us all of the daily sacrifices made by our police officers," Delaney said, calling the incident "a tragic reminder of just how dangerous a job it is."
Maloney and four other officers were attempting to execute a warrant at the home of Cullen Mutrie when Mutrie opened fire on them, killing Maloney and wounding four members of the Attorney General's Drug Task Force. Mutrie later shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, Brittany Tibbetts, before turning the gun on himself.
“What we’re trying to do today is to ensure that in light of what has occurred, we do everything we can to ensure that all of these facts are reviewed comprehensively," Delaney said, "to both learn what was done well under the circumstances and identify any lessons that can be learned.”
After his remarks, Delaney was peppered with questions about the incident but admitted that the investigation was not yet complete. He said investigators wanted to make sure that the injured officers had time to heal from the wounds of the incident.
“I do want to emphasize that we do have an ongoing investigation that is pending,” he said. “Not all of the statements and interviews that we need to complete have been completed.”
Delaney said two uniformed officers approached the porch at the home and attempted to make contact with Mutrie, but were unsuccessful. The officers did not perform a no-knock entry into the home, he said. The Drug Task Force officers reportedly saw no motion and received no response at the the door. Six of them went into the home, and four of them received gunshot wounds, he said.
Maloney was not involved in the initial entry into the home. He arrived at the scene at the time the first officers were sent in, Delaney confirmed. Two uniformed officers and Maloney went in to get the injured officers who were inside the home, he said. Maloney was in a position of cover behind his car, looking at the home, when he was shot in the head and killed, according to Delaney.
Delaney said he believed Mutrie killed Maloney, but was not completely sure. He said he could not speak to the position of shooters inside the home.
University of New Hampshire Police Chief Paul Dean issued a statement Tuesday afternoon following Delaney's press conference, saying that his department is "supportive" of the attorney general's review. UNH Detective Eric Kulberg was one of the officers injured in the shooting.
Dean said once the findings of the review committee have been reported, the UNH Police Department will conduct its own review "based on department policies."