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Three Sullivan County Men Face Charges After Gunshots Fired in Claremont

  • Tyler Barry. (Police photograph)

  • Matthew Barry. (Police photograph)

  • Brandon Teeter. (Police photograph)

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 12/31/2018 9:54:30 AM
Modified: 1/2/2019 3:49:26 PM

Newport — Two brothers charged with first-degree assault for allegedly firing a gun in two locations on Sunday night in Claremont were ordered held without bail following their arraignment on Monday in Sullivan County Superior Court.

A third suspect, Brandon Teeter, 18, of Newport, who allegedly drove his Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck during the incidents, was released on personal recognizance after pleading not guilty to driving under the influence and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault.

Police said no one was injured when 24-year-old Matthew Barry, of Charlestown, fired a 9 mm gun on Water Street; police allege his brother, 26-year-old Tyler Barry, did the same on Chestnut Street.

Authorities said Tyler Barry’s actions were completely random and not directed at anyone the three men knew.

Matthew Barry and Tyler Barry, of Newport, appeared in court in orange prison garb, both shackled at the ankles and wrists. Neither was represented by a lawyer, and argued on their own to be released on bail before Judge Brian Tucker, who presided via video from Merrimack County Superior Court.

A seven-page affidavit from Claremont Police Capt. Stephen Lee describes in detail the series of alleged events that began around 5 p.m. and ended when New Hampshire State Police Trooper Joshua Howe pulled over Teeter’s pickup around 8 p.m. on Unity Road in Newport, because it fit the description of the vehicle involved in the gunfire, which first was reported around 7:40 p.m. in Claremont in the vicinity of Water Street.

Police took all three men into custody and also found a 9 mm handgun in Matthew Barry’s possession.

Teeter first told Howe the three had come from Claremont, where they were “driving around,” then said he was “willing to tell Howe everything about that night,” the affidavit said. When Howe asked what he meant, Teeter said they had “shot off some rounds in Claremont.”

According to the affidavit, Teeter said he picked up the Barrys at a mobile home park at 5 p.m. in Newport. Their first stop was in Newport for an 18-pack of beer, which they consumed while driving around. They went to a camp owned by Tyler Barry in Unity before returning to Claremont to buy more beer at Walmart, where, Teeter told police, Tyler Barry stole a pellet gun because he wanted to be like his brother, who carries a 9 mm gun in his waistband.

Teeter then told police they drove down Water Street, where Tyler Barry saw someone he knew on the sidewalk.

“T. Barry starts yelling out the window at a guy name ‘Brian,’ ” the affidavit said. “T. Barry told them that ‘Brian’ owes him money and he is going to kill him.”

Teeter said he did not know Brian’s last name or why he owed Tyler Barry money, but when they drove down Water Street again after going up Main Street, Teeter said, Matthew Barry fired at least three shots out the truck window, the affidavit. Teeter then pulled into a parking lot near the Common Man Inn and Restaurant.

While Teeter and Tyler Barry stayed with the truck, Matthew Barry ran across the pedestrian bridge over the Sugar River yelling to Brian, according to the affidavit. Teeter said he thought he heard a gunshot, but was not sure.

About 10 minutes later, Matthew Barry returned to the truck and they left, according to the affidavit.

Police also spoke to an employee working at the Common Man who confirmed that while he was taking trash out, three men came to the area looking for Brian. One man brandished a pistol.

Another employee inside said a man approached her at the front desk and asked to leave out a back door “because people were after him,” the affidavit said. He eventually exited onto Water Street.

The three men in the pickup left Water Street and were on Broad Street when Teeter said he told the brothers he wanted to go home.

“M. Barry tells him to take Chestnut Street and told him he wasn’t going home,” the affidavit said. “M. Barry tells Teeter that he will shoot him and take his truck.”

The trio ended up on Chestnut Street, beyond the intersection with South Street, and it was here that Tyler Barry, urged by his brother to “shoot someone,” fired the gun out the back driver’s side window, hitting houses at 132 and 136 Chestnut St., the affidavit said. Police had gone to the area when they first received reports of gunfire around 7:45 p.m. on Sunday.

Ashley Ayotte, who was in court on Monday to observe the hearing, lives at 136 Chestnut St. with her husband and two children.

“I was sitting on the couch with my husband and 3-year-old son and we first thought it was fireworks after the first couple of shots,” Ayotte said outside the courtroom.

When she heard the vehicle speed off, she realized what she heard were shots fired at the house and immediately called 911.

Ayotte said one bullet entered her house through the roof and ended up outside the bedroom of her 13-year-old daughter, who was in her room at the time. Ayotte said she estimates about nine shots were fired and she found two shell casings in the street. Police also said at least one shot hit the adjacent house at 132 Chestnut St.

“Those houses were not targeted but chosen randomly by the individuals in the pickup,” Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway said in court.

After the gun was fired on Chestnut Street, Teeter drove toward Newport on Sugar River Drive and Chandlers Mill Road before being stopped by state police.

There were earlier reports of shots fired on Elm Street, but police found no activity there, the affidavit said.

In arguing against releasing Teeter, Hathaway said he was on release from a simple assault conviction and that he knowingly participated with the Barrys while under the influence, making him a risk to the community.

“There are no conditions that will ensure the safety of the community,” Hathaway told Tucker.

Teeter’s attorney, Tony Hutchins, said his client has a job, lives with his girlfriend and wants to get back home to support them. He said Teeter cooperated with police and would abide by any conditions imposed by the court, while also pointing out that the facts in the affidavit show he did not handle the firearm.

Hathaway dismissed the notion that Teeter would not violate court conditions.

“It is foolish to think he will obey the orders of the court in these circumstances,” Hathaway said.

The judge agreed to release Teeter on personal recognizance but attached numerous conditions, including no alcohol or firearm possession.

Hathaway was more successful in arguing the Barrys remain in jail. He told Tucker of their previous convictions, including simple assault and burglary for Tyler Barry and driving under the influence for Matthew Barry.

It was at this point the Barrys said that Brian was their cousin and they were not a threat to him.

They told Tucker they were not a flight risk or risk to the public.

But the judge disagreed, saying there was “clear and convincing” evidence they present a danger to the public, given they fired a handgun from a vehicle and threatened to kill someone.

The Barrys were involved in an incident in September 2017 in Ascutney at a campground with their father, Daniel Barry, of Claremont.

According to a police report, the three were drinking with a juvenile when the brothers left the campground with the juvenile in a Cadillac belonging to their father. Matthew Barry crashed the vehicle before returning to the campsite. He and his brother then got into a dispute with their father and they all decided to return to New Hampshire.

But the vehicle became inoperable and police said the brothers stole a gas can, doused the car and lit it on fire before leaving the scene.

The brothers were found by Claremont police and charged with multiple counts, including third-degree arson, petty larceny and disorderly conduct.

Tyler Barry also was charged with reckless conduct and being a felon in possession of a firearm in Sunday’s incident.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at pogclmt@gmail.com.

Correction

Authorities said gunshots Sunday night in Claremont on Chestnut Street were fired at random, but that shots fired on Water Street came as three men charged in the incident were searching for a man named Brian who worked there. An earlier version of this story misstated how authorities described the Water Street gunshots.




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