Police: Shooter in Claremont incident unlikely to face charges 

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 8/2/2023 10:00:19 PM
Modified: 8/3/2023 9:15:24 AM

CLAREMONT — The person who shot and injured a man who had barged his way inside of an apartment won’t be charged, police said on Wednesday, but the shooting victim, who was critically injured, is still under investigation.

Loren Richardson was shot in the chest after he allegedly forced entry into a residence through the porch door while armed with a handgun on Monday evening.

Gravely wounded, Richardson was flown by helicopter ambulance to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, where he was last reported to be in stable but critical condition.

Police have not given a reason why Richardson, 34, and an alleged accomplice, Kody Bardin, 29, were seeking to gain entry into a ground-floor apartment at the corner of Walnut Street and Trinity Street in downtown Claremont. Several of the people at the scene of Monday’s incident were acquainted with each other, according to authorities.

There is a 10-page police affidavit in support of criminal charges against Bardin, and a 20-year-old woman who is alleged to have scrubbed Richardson’s blood off his vehicle.

“Part of the focus of our investigation is trying to determine the motive,” Claremont Police Chief Brent Wilmot said Wednesday.

Police have said they do not believe it was a random act. The woman facing a charge of falsifying evidence, Emily Engerman, had recently been “going through a separation” from Richardson. Another woman inside the apartment who encountered the alleged perpetrators at the porch door knew Bardin by name, according to the affidavit.

Engerman, of Claremont, was not at the scene of the shooting, police said.

No charges have been brought yet against Richardson, who remains hospitalized and in critical condition. But Wilmot said Wednesday that he “expects charges will be forthcoming” against Richardson and he “remains a central focus of our investigation.”

Wilmot said no charges have been brought against the man who fired his gun or others inside the apartment because they acted in self-defense.

“Based on the information that we have to date, we don’t believe charges for any of the people inside the residence would be appropriate,” Wilmot said Wednesday.

Bardin faces charges of burglary, burglary conspiracy and criminal threatening with a deadly weapon, all felonies. While Bardin faces two burglary counts, the affidavit does not give details of any burglary attempt.

On Tuesday, one resident of Trinity Street said footage from security cameras that he had installed in front of his residence had been reviewed by police and is believed to have captured video of Richardson and Bardin. He showed a reporter a spot in the road with what looked to be dried blood drops.

Claremont police said that they were responding to shots being fired at 6:17 p.m. Monday, and when they arrived at the scene, the suspects had already fled.

Christian Pasquette, 21, informed them that he was sitting in the living room with his friend John Ellis, 23, who lives in unit 3 at 22 Trinity St. — which has its entrance on the side of the building facing Walnut Street — when he “heard a commotion coming from the kitchen” and saw two men, one of them holding a gun.

Pasquette told police that he drew his own gun “and used the light on his firearm to light up the hallway.” When he saw the armed intruder “raise the firearm he was holding,” Pasquette fired two shots at Richardson, who then fled on foot, according to the police report. Pasquette told authorities he then holstered his firearm and called 911.

Following the interview at the scene with Pasquette, police were informed that there was a man who arrived at Valley Regional Hospital with a gunshot wound to the abdomen. The man, who was subsequently identified as Richardson, had to be intubated.

Later that night, just before 8 p.m., Kassidy Briere, 25, showed up at the Claremont police station to tell them she was a resident at the apartment where the shooting occurred. She told police that when she responded to a knock on the porch door, two men entered and one of them “pushed in” the door, knocked her down and pistol-whipped her, the affidavit said.

Briere said she recognized one of the intruders as Bardin, whom she said she has known for a couple years, and responded, “What the f---, Kody?”

It was then she heard gunfire and the men fled, the affidavit said.

Claremont police then posted on social media on Monday that they were looking to talk with people who might have information about the shooting. At 10:45 p.m., two people who identified themselves as Engerman’s parents walked into the lobby of the police station to report that their daughter had informed them earlier that evening that Richardson, from whom she “had recently been going through a separation,” had been shot and was at Valley Regional Hospital.

The parents told police that the three of them went to Valley Regional Hospital, where Engerman gained access to a vehicle registered to Richardson that was parked in the hospital parking lot.

Engerman took her mother back home in the vehicle, the affidavit said, and when her mother made a comment about blood inside the car, Engerman is alleged to have responded, “Oh my god, I brought evidence back here,” and began wiping down the vehicle.

Once back home, the parents said, Engerman continued cleaning. Later, they brought “a bag containing the items (Engerman) used to clean the vehicle which was discarded in a dumpster.” Engerman was later located with the vehicle outside the emergency room at DHMC, where police took her into custody.

As of Wednesday, both Engerman and Bardin were being held in preventive detention at Sullivan County jail, according to court records.

Neighbors who heard the gunshots and witnessed the police response on Monday said on Tuesday the street had been blocked off for much of the night and police remained on scene until after midnight.

Claremont police have had assistance from the Lebanon Police Department, the New Hampshire State Police and the Sullivan County Attorney’s Office in the investigation.

Those with relevant information are asked to call Claremont Police Detective Richard Bell at 603-542-7010 or the Claremont Police anonymous tip line 603-542-7026.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.

CORRECTION: Brent Wilmot is chief of the Claremont Police Department. A previous version of this s

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