New HampshireDepartment of JusticeOffice of the Attorney General

News Release

For Immediate Release
Febuary 24, 2022

Contact:
Benjamin Agati, Senior Assistant Attorney General
benjamin.j.agati@doj.nh.gov / (603) 419-0124

Nicholas Chong Yen, Assistant Attorney General

Update on November 1, 2021 Seabrook Shooting (Death of Christopher Coletti)

Attorney General John M. Formella, New Hampshire State Police Colonel Nathan A. Noyes, and Seabrook Police Chief Brett Walker announce that the Attorney General’s Office has made a determination as to homicide charges in connection with the shooting death of Christopher Coletti (age 35) in Seabrook, New Hampshire on November 1, 2021.

Since the initial police response moments after the shooting, the Attorney General’s Office, the New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit, and the Seabrook Police Department have been investigating the circumstances that led to Christopher Coletti’s death, including but not limited to the validity of a self-defense claim raised by Mr. Garrito Fort, the individual who shot Mr. Coletti.  That investigation entailed the review of numerous witness interviews, and an examination of physical and electronic evidence recovered from the scene of the incident.

Based upon the full investigation conducted, no homicide charge will be brought against Mr. Fort in connection with Mr. Coletti’s death since the State would be unable to disprove Mr. Fort’s claim of self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt.  Instead, Mr. Fort has been charged with the felony charge of being a Felon in Possession of a firearm at the time of the shooting incident contrary to RSA 159:3. Mr. Fort also has other pending felony charges alleging multiple instances of violence using a firearm.  Those charges allege these incidents occurred in the weeks leading up to the shooting at the same residence where the shooting incident took place.  These matters are currently pending in Rockingham County Superior Court. 

The Attorney General’s Office has referred its investigative file to the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office for this prosecution and consideration of any additional non-homicide offenses. As a result, in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Attorney General’s Office is unable to release a full report or further information regarding Mr. Coletti’s death until Mr. Fort’s pending charges are resolved.  See N.H. Rule 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.”).

When Mr. Fort’s current legal proceedings have concluded, the Attorney General’s Office will issue its full report on the investigation into Mr. Coletti’s death.

New Hampshire Department of Justice
33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658