A man and a woman were found dead today in the New Hampshire house where a shootout left a police chief killed and four other officers injured.
The couple inside the house are believed to have been the result of either a suicide pact or a murder-suicide.
The police shooting occurred Thursday in Greenland, a coastal town of 3,500 outside Portsmouth, N.H., after a standoff with a suspect believed to be armed with a rifle.
The officer shot dead was Chief Michael Maloney. Two officers are listed as critical, according to emergency services, while two others have been released from the hospital.
Maloney, who had 26 years of experience in law enforcement, was reportedly scheduled to retire in eight days.
“In those final days, he sacrificed his life in public service as a law enforcement officer in New Hampshire,” Attorney General Michael Delaney said today.
SWAT teams placed a robot into the residence to gain entry early today. The robot detected two deceased individuals, one of which has been identified as Cullen Mutrie, who is believed to be the man who killed police chief and shot the others, according to Detective Eric Kulberg. The female is still unidentified.
The shooter and the woman remained holed up in the home into Friday morning, according to Delaney.
Early reports from the crime scene indicated the gunman used a “sniper rifle,” though questions at a later press conference suggested an “automatic weapon” was used.
The incident may have been the result of a drug bust gone bad, according to reports.
Kulberg, 31, and Detective Gregory Turner, 32, were both injured in the shootout and were released from a hospital after being treated for gunshot wounds. Detective Scott Kukesh, 33, was awaiting surgery in the intensive care unit with a bullet wound to the chest, while Detective Jeremiah Murphy, 34, was in the intensive care unit after surgery for a gunshot wound to chest.
The four injured officers were from other area departments and were working as part of a drug task force, according to The Associated Press.
“It’s a blow to all of us. You’re stunned. It’s New Hampshire, it’s a small town,” John Penacho, chairman of the town’s Board of Selectman said. “We’re stunned. I mean all of us. It’s an unbelievable situation.”
The shootout is the latest in the rising toll of officers shot by suspects, a trend that counters a decline in many other crimes around the country.