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Read the Report: AG Says Officers Justified in Shooting Quechee Man on I-89



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, May 25, 2017

Hopkinton, n.h. — The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office on Thursday said three officers were legally justified in using deadly force against a 31-year-old Quechee man after he refused to obey commands to show his hands following a pursuit on Interstate 89 last Friday.

Bryan Evans hid his hands in his jacket and then “quickly pulled” them out in a “two-handed, gun-style fashion,” according to the Attorney General’s Office preliminary report on the officer-involved shooting incident.

New Hampshire State Police troopers Michael Arteaga and Daniel Livingstone, as well as New London Police Officer James MacKenna, believed Evans posed an imminent public safety risk when all three pulled the trigger, according to the report.

“Although it later turned out that Evans did not have a gun, the officers’ belief that he did was objectively reasonable under the circumstances,” the report states.

During the May 19 incident, Evans allegedly told Livingstone he’d be a “dead man” if he unleashed the police dog that was on the scene.

“The attorney general has concluded that Bryan Evans created a dangerous situation that prompted the officer-involved shooting incident,” the report states. “Accordingly, Trooper Arteaga and Officer MacKenna were legally justified in using deadly force against Evans. Trooper Livingstone was likewise justified ... therefore no criminal charges will be filed.”

The report said all three officers attempted to shoot Evans: MacKenna’s rifle shot missed; Livingstone’s gun malfunctioned and did not fire; Arteaga, the other trooper, fired twice and hit Evans once in the leg.

After being wounded, Evans got back into the 2017 Toyota Camry he allegedly stole from his mother’s Quechee home earlier that day and drove a short distance before stopping in the breakdown lane, according to the report. At that point, he was taken into custody and brought to the hospital, where he had surgery.

On Thursday evening, Evans was listed in good condition at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, a spokesman said.

A fourth officer, Trooper Brandon Stubbs, also arrived on scene during the incident. The report doesn’t indicate whether he fired a weapon, but does say “any of the other police officers present during the incident” won’t face charges.

According to the attorney general’s report, New Hampshire State Police don’t have body cameras and the troopers on scene didn’t have cruiser cameras. The report also states that “officers” from the “towns” that responded had either cruiser or body cameras, but didn’t have them activated at the time of the shooting.

Some passing motorists captured video and still images of the incident on cellphones, and that footage supported the officers’ accounts of the situation, according to the report.

The Attorney General’s Office said the report it issued Thursday evening was preliminary and that certain details of the case couldn’t be divulged until Evans’ criminal case concluded; he faces several charges in connection with the incident.

The report offers the public the first detailed account of the shooting, which occurred shortly before 7 p.m., but the events that precipitated the confrontation on the interstate began hours before in the Upper Valley, according to authorities.

Earlier on May 19, Evans’ mother, Laurie Evans, went to her Quechee home in Fairview Village to check on her son, who had been pressing her to let him borrow her car. She declined, according to court documents filed in Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction.

Bryan Evans ended up taking her vehicle without her permission that afternoon, according to the court filings, but his mother told police she was able to talk him into coming back to the residence. Once he returned, the pair made an agreement that she would drive him to Burlington to pay a debt, but when they got in the car, Bryan Evans demanded to go to Boston instead. So, his mother ended up dropping him off at the Lebanon Police Station and told him that he wasn’t to come back home, the court filings state.

Lebanon Police Chief Richard Mello on Thursday confirmed that Evans did arrive at the station that evening and that his department sent Evans away in a taxi.

About 45 minutes later, Bryan Evans allegedly showed up on the porch of his mother’s home, where he smashed a window, pushed out the screen, grabbed her keys and left in the Camry.

After her son took her vehicle, Laurie Evans called police in Hartford to report it stolen and notified them that her son may be headed south on Interstate 89 to Boston to purchase heroin, according to court documents.

Hartford dispatch issued an alert on the Camry and listed the vehicle’s status as stolen in the National Crime Information Center’s database.

New Hampshire State Police spotted the vehicle in Sutton, N.H., around 6:45 p.m., according to authorities, and Evans allegedly failed to stop when Arteaga attempted to pull him over. Evans ultimately did pull over in Hopkinton, where the confrontation with police ensued.

Evans faces multiple criminal charges in both states.

In New Hampshire, he is charged with receiving stolen property, unauthorized use of a propelled vehicle, three counts of criminal threatening and disobeying an officer. He hasn’t been arraigned.

In Vermont, he face five charges: burglary into an occupied dwelling, grand larceny, petty larceny, unlawful mischief and motor vehicle operation without an owner’s consent. He also currently has an active warrant for his arrest in connection with the incident.

After her car was taken on the evening of May 19, police went to Laurie Evans’ home and interviewed her. According to police, she said her son moved in with her about four months ago because he is a heroin addict who is trying to get clean.

He recently started acting out of the ordinary though, she told police.

Bryan Evans does not have a prior criminal record in Windsor County.

Reached by telephone on Thursday, Laurie Evans declined to comment.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.


Continue reading after the report.