Online Exclusive

N.H. Officers Shoot Man Following Police Pursuit

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Police shot a driver in the front seat of his SUV Monday evening after a frantic chase through a crowded center city neighborhood and shouted warnings from officers, witnesses said.

The identity of the man -- described as a stocky, older white man -- was not immediately available. Police have not released a statement. The shooting drew onlookers and curiosity seekers.

Many said they heard two shots, followed quickly by three or four more shots.

Several said the incident started at Seven Days Market at the corner of Union and Cedar streets. The vehicle fled, with police in pursuit, they said.

The shooting took place on Merrimack Street, a little more than a block east of the old police station. The SUV zipped south through an alley off Merrimack Street, then west in an alley, then back north through a parking lot and back onto Merrimack Street.

Charles James said it ended with police detectives in front of the vehicle.

"The detectives ran down the street to the lot, put their hand on the hood and said 'Stop. Stop.' The Cherokee Jeep started coming forward, and I heard four shots,"James said.

He described the driver as a stocky white man.

Police used crime scene tape to cordon off the shooting scene, alleys and the parking lot mentioned by James.

Manchester firefighters in a ladder truck were traveling directly behind the vehicles involved in the chase. Fire officials said they have been told by the state Attorney General's Office not to discuss what they saw with the media. The senior state investigator on the scene said the case is not being investigated as a homicide, indicating the person who was shot is still alive.

Many people live in the congested area, and the cooler weather brought them outside. Taryn Santiago said she saw a video of the shooting, filmed by a young man.

"They had him surrounded at that point. He was still trying to get away," Santiago said. After the shooting, police took him out of the vehicle.

Although he was shot several times, the man was moving and picking his head up, she said.

Police cavassed the neighborhood and spoke to residents.

Several told a reporter they saw police cars following the vehicle with sirens blazing.

A man on the top- floor porch of a Merrimack Street residence said a green SUV almost ran him over in the alley between his building and one next door.

"If I was in the alley two mintues later, I would have been hit," said the man, who identified himself as Shy. He said he heard two shots from one gun, then three from another.

Laurel Street resident Andrea Schoenfeld said she heard a lot of commotion, then six or seven shots.

"I thought it was firecrackers," she said.

Police moved from the neighborhood several months ago to a new headquarters on Valley Street.People living and working in the area said Monday night that the area has changed considerably, and not for the better, since the police department moved out.

Copyright 2013 - The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester

McClatchy-Tribune News Service