For Immediate Release
April 23, 2020
Concord, NH - Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announces that the Attorney General's Office has made a determination as to the lawfulness of the law enforcement officer's non-fatal shooting of Dylan J. Stahley (age 22), which occurred in Concord, New Hampshire on April 5, 2020.
At about 11:19 p.m. on April 4, 2020, the Concord Police Department received a report of a burglar alarm that had been activated at the Skate House at White Park (3 White Street) in Concord. Upon their arrival, officers saw that a window at the Skate House was broken and inside there was a large rock on the counter near the cash register. Security video footage from the area captured images of the burglary suspect.
A short time later, officers observed a male on the nearby baseball field in White Park. That male, later identified as Dylan J. Stahley, matched the physical appearance and clothing of the Skate House burglary suspect. A person who knew Mr. Stahley arrived at White Park and told the officers that Mr. Stahley had a gun.
Additional officers responded to White Park to assist, including New Hampshire State Troopers. As the officers arrived and set up a perimeter around the baseball field, Mr. Stahley moved around in the center of the field with a drink container in one hand and a handgun in the other. Officers attempted to defuse the situation by repeatedly ordering Mr. Stahley to drop the handgun. He did not comply with those repeated orders. Instead, Mr. Stahley continued to move around the field, pointing his handgun in all directions including at himself, at multiple police officers, and in the direction of homes located outside White Park.
At approximately 12:15 a.m. on April 5, 2020, Mr. Stahley pointed his handgun at officers positioned on White Street, including New Hampshire State Trooper Michael Petrillo. Trooper Petrillo then fired one shot at Mr. Stahley from his police-issued rifle. Mr. Stahley was hit in the left upper arm by the gunfire and dropped to the ground.
Officers approached Mr. Stahley and rendered medical aid. A loaded handgun was recovered next to Mr. Stahley. He was then transported to a local hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening gunshot wound to his arm. No one else was injured during the encounter, and nobody discharged a weapon other than Trooper Petrillo.
Although Mr. Stahley survived, Trooper Petrillo's shooting of him constitutes the use of deadly force under the law. The Attorney General's Office and the New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit have conducted a full investigation to determine whether that use of deadly force against Mr. Stahley was legally justified. After a review of evidence gathered during the course of the investigation, the Attorney General has determined that Trooper Petrillo's shooting of Mr. Stahley was a legally justified use of deadly force.
Because of his actions at White Park on April 4-5, 2020, the Concord Police Department has charged Mr. Stahley with Burglary, Reckless Conduct, and Felon in Possession of a Dangerous Weapon. Those charges are pending. As a result, the Attorney General's Office is unable to release at this time a full report detailing all of the facts uncovered during this investigation. See N.H. Rules of Professional Conduct 3.6(a) ("A lawyer who . . . has participated in the investigation . . . of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.").
However, when the current legal proceedings against Mr. Stahley have concluded, the Attorney General's Office will issue its full report on the investigation into Trooper Petrillo's use of deadly force, with the associated findings and reasoning behind the determination made.
New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301