NH AG says officers justified in killing Mass. man

Posted Dec. 16, 2011, at 9:52 p.m.

CONCORD, N.H. — A Massachusetts man who was shot and killed by police in Pelham, N.H., updated his Facebook page during the October standoff, writing “I’m ending my life rite now,” the New Hampshire attorney general’s office said Friday.

Alberto Pagan, 21, of Dracut, Mass., died Oct. 22 after assaulting his ex-girlfriend in Massachusetts, leading police on a two-state chase and aggressively advancing toward officers with a gun pointed at them, the attorney general’s office said in report concluding that five officers who fired at Pagan were justified.

The report describes an officer who was called to the scene because Pagan was “threatening suicide by cop.” An autopsy found he was shot in the abdomen, hip, back, right arm and hands. His blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit for driving.

The incident started around 3:30 a.m. when Pagan, a security guard at Lowell General Hospital in Lowell, Mass., chased down his ex-girlfriend on a street and repeatedly punched her in the face. A witness called police, who found Pagan in a parking lot. When confronted, Pagan drove off, leading to a 30-minute pursuit. New Hampshire officers joined in when Pagan crossed the border, and police in Pelham used “stop sticks” to deflate his car tires.

According to the attorney general’s office, police spoke to Pagan for about an hour and a half, attempting to get him to surrender and offering to take him to a hospital. But Pagan repeatedly said he had no reason to live and told police to shoot him.

Around 5:15 a.m. — about the same time his Facebook page was updated — Pagan got back in his car, drove around the police cruisers and eventually rammed into an unmarked police car. He then got out of his car and began walking aggressively toward police with his gun pointed at the officers. He was within 20 feet of the officers when he was shot.

“The officers’ conclusion that deadly force was necessary is supported by all the facts and circumstances of the incident,” the report concludes.

The officers who shot at Pagan were Salem police Officers Joseph DeFeudis and Eric Pappalardo, Lowell police Officer Dennis Moriarty and New Hampshire State Police Trooper Chad Lavoie.

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