CONCORD, N.H. — A man who was fatally shot by Massachusetts state troopers following a pursuit into New Hampshire had fired at them at least six times and had told a relative beforehand that if caught, he’d be looking for the police to kill him, a report released by the attorney general said Wednesday.
The report said that the use of deadly force by four troopers in the confrontation with Michael Brown was justified. Brown died of a gunshot wound to the neck on June 15 in Newton, New Hampshire, following a 40-mile chase. The troopers will not be charged with any crimes and are back at work.
Police knew that Brown, of Presque Isle, Maine, had spoken to his girlfriend a week beforehand and said he wasn’t going back to prison, was suicidal and had tried to kill himself that day. By June 14, police got a call from a relative who heard if Brown was caught, he wasn’t going to “go down without a fight,” the report said.
“From the start, Mr. Brown made it clear that he had no intention of being taken alive,” Senior Assistant Attorney Jeffery Strelzin said at a news conference in Newton.
Brown was wanted in connection with sexual assault, firearms and stolen motor vehicle charges. He had a prior record of multiple felony offenses and had served time in prison.
The report said Brown stole the pickup truck and a loaded 9 mm pistol from his uncle in Westfield, Maine, on June 15. That night, he was located in Malden, Massachusetts, where a trooper used a spike strip to disable the truck. Both of the truck’s passenger side tires were shredded, but Brown didn’t stop.
The truck headed onto Interstate 495 and Brown started throwing items out of it, including a blanket, the report said. Brown shot at pursing officers and eventually went the wrong way on the interstate. A state police helicopter recorded much of the chase on video.
The report said once in Newton, Brown lost control of the truck and crashed. The troopers got out of their cruisers with their weapons drawn and at least one shouted at him to show his hands. The report said Brown revved the truck’s motor and accelerated forward toward several troopers, with his arm extended, holding a silver pistol. Four shot at him; they weren’t hurt.
A search of the truck turned up the pistol and a note from Brown’s mother telling him she loved him no matter what.
An autopsy showed that substances found in marijuana, amphetamines and methamphetamines were in Brown’s blood.