Thursday, June 27, 2013

Self-Defense Shooting in New Hampshire

Violent home invasion stopped by armed homeowner


NOTE: This report was published on June 26, 2013.  The document has been slightly abridged for easier reading.   
"The incident was first reported at approximately 2:43 a.m. on Saturday, June 9, 2013.  Ian Peters (age 38), the adult male occupant of an apartment located at 430 Lake Avenue in Manchester, placed a 911 call reporting a home invasion at his apartment.  When Manchester police officers arrived at the apartment, they encountered Ian Peters outside with his fiancé and her 3-year-old child.  After ensuring that Peters, his fiancé, and her child were physically unhurt, the officers went inside the apartment and discovered an adult male deceased inside.  That deceased man was eventually identified as Michael Larocque, Jr. (age 24).  No one else connected with the incident was located inside the apartment or in the immediate area. 
"After securing the scene, an investigation began into the incident.  That investigation included speaking with Ian Peters and his fiancé, as well as their neighbors.  It also involved interviewing people who knew Michael Larocque, Jr., and his associates.  Manchester detectives also searched the shooting scene and the vicinity for evidence related to the incident.  Based on the investigation, the following facts have been determined. 
"On Saturday evening, June 8, 2013, Ian Peters was with his fiancé in their second-floor Lake Avenue apartment.  Sometime after midnight, she was receiving text messages from someone she knew and those text messages eventually turned confrontational and threatening.  About an hour or two later while Peters and his fiancé were in bed, they heard multiple footsteps coming down the porch towards their bedroom.  The porch is located directly outside their bedroom.  Peters looked at his girlfriend and could see that she was scared.  He got out of bed and grabbed his handgun.  Peters heard someone at the door and then heard the doorknob move, which was quickly followed by three kicks to the door.  As Peters moved out into the living room, the apartment door burst open and two men stepped inside.  Peters’ fiancé ran past him into her child’s bedroom and closed the door.  The two men who had kicked open the door charged at Peters. 
"At that point, Peters believed that he was in a life or death situation and that the two men might have weapons.  He yelled at the two men and then fired his gun at the closest intruder who was charging at him.  That intruder did not stop and ran past Peters towards the kitchen.  The other intruder continued moving towards Peters.  Peters fired his gun at the second intruder who was approaching him, which caused that man to flee and run outside.  At that point, Peters could not see either of the two intruders in the apartment and did not believe that he had hit either of them with his gunfire.  He went over to the apartment door that had been kicked open, closed it, and then went looking for the first intruder who had run into the kitchen.   
“Peters discovered the first intruder inside the apartment’s bathroom, next to the kitchen.  That man, eventually identified as Michael Larocque, Jr., was trying to get out of the bathroom through a window.  Peters told Larocque to get down on the ground and not to move.  Instead, Larocque turned and attacked Peters, pushing him backwards into the laundry room outside the bathroom.  Larocque began punching Peters, hitting him at least twice in the head.  Peters and Larocque started to physically struggle and during that struggle, Peters’ gun went off.  Peters said that he did not try to shoot Larocque during their struggle outside the bathroom and it does not appear that the gunshot hit Larocque. 
"As Peters struggled with Larocque, he heard Larocque say, 'Help me,' and then Larocque started to collapse to the floor.  Peters told Larocque that he would help him and pulled Larocque out into the kitchen in order to get him into a more open area.  Peters could see that Larocque was bleeding profusely at that point, so Peters called 911 for help.  Peters explained the situation to the 911 operator and then the operator told Peters to take his fiancé and her child outside and wait for the police.  Peters did as he was told. 
"After the police arrived, they spoke to Peters and then went inside the apartment.  Once inside, they found Larocque dead.  Peters and his fiancé agreed to go to the Manchester Police Department, where they fully cooperated with the police during the investigation.  That included speaking with the police and consenting to all the searches the police wished to conduct.   
"Detectives from the Manchester Police Department completed a thorough search of the apartment where the incident took place.  During that search, they discovered that the main door to the apartment was significantly damaged.  That door was right off the porch next to the bedroom and had damage consistent with being kicked-in.  The detectives also located a single handgun inside the apartment, along with five discharged cartridge casings and bullet damage.  Ian Peters confirmed that the handgun was his and was the one he had used against the two intruders that night.  The deceased intruder, Michael Larocque, Jr., had no weapons on him when he was searched.  His cause of death was later found to be a gunshot wound to the arm and a gunshot wound to the abdomen. 
"Initially, the identity of the deceased intruder was unknown.  Ian Peters did not recognize either of the two men who had burst into the apartment.  As time went on, the police were able to identify the deceased intruder as Michael Larocque, Jr.  Further investigation revealed that Larocque was an acquaintance of someone Ian Peters’ fiancé knew.  Based on the text messages that went back and forth that night, as well as other information gleaned during the investigation, it appears that Ian Peters was specifically targeted that night and that the intruders’ intent was to physically harm him."

Peters was not charged with any crime.

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