Home News New Hampshire shootings ‘vivid reminder’ of cops’ risks

New Hampshire shootings ‘vivid reminder’ of cops’ risks

Police converge at a command post Friday, May 13, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. after two Manchester police officers were shot overnight. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Police converge at a command post Friday, May 13, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. after two Manchester police officers were shot overnight. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said the shootings of two Manchester police officers as they pursued a robbery suspect are a “vivid reminder of the risks the members of law enforcement take every day.”

She made the comment in an order directing that flags at all public buildings be lowered to half-staff Sunday in honor of National Peace Officers Memorial Day.

Officers Matthew O’Connor and Ryan Hardy were wounded in the pre-dawn shootings Friday. O’Connor, 28, was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg and released from a hospital Friday. Ryan is in stable condition recovering from gunshot wounds to the face and torso.

Ian MacPherson, 32, of Manchester, is being held without bail on two counts of attempted capital murder. He is expected to be arraigned Monday.

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard said Hardy stopped MacPherson on the city’s West Side around 2 a.m. Friday because he matched the description of a suspect in a gas station armed robbery the day before. MacPherson began shooting at Hardy as soon as the officer announced himself, police said.

After being shot, Hardy called in MacPherson’s description and the direction in which he ran, Willard said.

“Officer Hardy’s reaction to being shot is beyond courageous, it’s remarkable,” Willard said at a Friday press conference.

About 20 minutes later, MacPherson encountered O’Connor and shot him, police said. O’Connor returned fire, Willard said, but MacPherson was not wounded during his encounter with police.

The suspect was arrested unharmed about 5 a.m. Friday outside a residence. Willard said he was wearing the same clothing as the man who was captured on video robbing a gas station the day before.

The police chief did not specify the type of weapon used in the shooting.

“They (officers) continued at their own peril to pursue a subject who shot two officers,” he said. “I cannot express deeply enough my profound respect.”

Willard said Hardy joined the force last year, after working for Derby police. O’Connor came to the Manchester force in 2014 from the Henniker police department.

“Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect their fellow citizens,” Hassan said.

The shootings had the city on edge for hours. Residents were ordered to shelter in place, and several schools shut down for the day. There was a visible police presence on the city’s West Side for much of Friday morning.

Manchester’s West Side includes a mix of older homes converted into apartments and small businesses. People who live near the site of the shootings described an active police presence through much of the morning that began immediately after the shooting started.

Edward Villmore, who lives near the site of the first shooting, said he awoke to multiple gunshots around 2 a.m. Friday.

“Next thing you know there’s sirens and tires squealing,” he said.

Floyd Johnson, who lives near the site of the second shooting, described a similar experience of waking up to gunshots and immediately hearing police swarm into the area. Johnson said he told his 13-year-old son to get on the floor. Police told Johnson to also stay put, away from the windows.

By Kathleen Ronayne, Associated Press

Associated Press writer Lynne Tuohy in Concord, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.

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