A domestic dispute ended in tragedy with a New Hampshire police officer being fatally shot and a home exploding into flames, authorities said Monday.
The gunman is also presumed to be dead after being ensued in the fiery blaze.
Attorney General Joseph Foster said late Monday night Stephen Arkell, 48, of Brentwood was shot to death when he answered a call in a suburban neighborhood designed for people over 55-years-old.
After Arkell was shot to death, the house erupted into flames. A massive explosion blew the front off the house and within an hours’ time, it was leveled.
Foster said Michael Nolan, 47, the son of the homeowner, is the suspected killer. He is presumed to be dead.
“The entire State of New Hampshire is in mourning over the tragic loss of Brentwood Officer Steve Arkell,” said Gov. Maggie Hassan. “Officer Arkell bravely answered the call of duty and made the ultimate sacrifice, a heroic demonstration of his commitment to the safety of his fellow citizens. Like so many of our first responders do on a daily basis, Officer Arkell courageously put his life on the line to protect others, and in doing so, was tragically taken far too soon.”
The scene was chaotic and intense. Neighbors told The Boston Globe that they heard rapid gun fire. Shortly after, over 100 officers arrived at the scene, swarming the house.
Debra Vasapolli, director of public relations at Exeter Hospital, said that one person was injured in the event but that victim was not a victim of a gunshot wound. She declined to provide further details.
Neighbor Wayne Hughes told the Portsmouth Press-Herald that police responded to the house after neighbors overheard an argument Monday afternoon and called 911. His wife Susan describes seeing a police officer arrive at the New Hampshire home and then heard “rapid gun fire.”
She then saw Walter Nolan, 86, being wheeled away from the scene and taking by ambulance before she evacuated the area. Public records show the house is owned by Nolan and he apparently lived in the home with his son, the suspect.