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Lebanon Man Arrested in Connection With Hanover Shooting

  • Police search a car off of Oak Ridge Road in West Lebanon, N.H., on Nov. 2, 2018. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Melanie Golder, of Hanover, arrives at the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Hanover, N.H., where she is the head librarian Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018. Golder opened the church's reading room early to support any community members that wanted to come pray after a shooting took place nearby on School Street on Friday night. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Sigma Delta member Eleanor Mitchell heard the shot that spurred Dartmouth College officials to order students to shelter in place from the sorority's house adjacent to School Street in Hanover, N.H., on Friday night. The victim of the shooting is in stable condition and police have arrested a suspect. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Gage Young.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/3/2018 12:43:40 PM
Modified: 11/5/2018 2:39:37 PM

Hanover — Police arrested a 22-year-old Lebanon man on Saturday and charged him with what they said was the random shooting of a 19-year-old male who was walking with acquaintances on Friday night in downtown Hanover less than two blocks from the Dartmouth Green.

Hanover police said Gage Young was “traveling through the town of Hanover” when he fired a handgun toward the male victim, hitting him in the lower back and causing a serious injury. Police said they obtained a court order to keep the victim’s name sealed, but said he was visiting Hanover from elsewhere in New England and was in stable condition after being taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center shortly after the shooting around 9:45 p.m. on Friday.

The shooting took place on School Street, in between West Wheelock and Allen streets and not far from the First Church of Christ, Scientist and the Sigma Delta sorority.

Hanover Police Chief Charlie Dennis said Young apparently fired his gun from a car, and that police do not believe the victim was targeted.

“We believe it was a random, isolated event,” Dennis told reporters at a Saturday afternoon news conference outside the Hanover Police Department, announcing the charge against Young.

Young, who had first been taken into custody late Friday night by Lebanon police after a car chase, was charged by Hanover police with second-degree assault, a Class B felony, and is being held without bail in Grafton County jail pending his arraignment on Monday in Grafton Superior Court in North Haverhill, police said.

Dartmouth College said the victim was not affiliated with the college, but police declined to say why the teen, who was with people he knew, was visiting Hanover.

Hanover Police Capt. Mark Bodanza said there was “compelling evidence” that “it would be beneficial not only to the victim but to the integrity of the investigation not to release the victim’s name.”

Young was first apprehended by Lebanon police around 11:15 p.m. on Friday, about 90 minutes after the shooting, after a car chase as they investigated multiple reports of gunshots near Route 10 and Fountain Way in West Lebanon, some 3.5 miles from the Dartmouth Green.

Lebanon Police Sgt. Rich Norris spotted a black Ford Fusion, which was “consistent with the description of a possible suspect vehicle” in the Hanover shooting, parked in the Boston Lot Lake parking lot, Lebanon police said in a news release.

When Norris tried to investigate, the driver drove north “and attempted to evade the officer” before crashing on Oak Ridge Road off Route 10, the release said.

Young, who lives on Oak Ridge Road, allegedly had fired a Taurus 9 mm handgun near Fountain Way prior to the interaction with Norris and then “attempted to discard the pistol after the vehicle had crashed,” according to Lebanon police.

Police found the gun in the road near the car after it crashed, authorities said. Young was charged by Lebanon police with reckless conduct and falsifying physical evidence, both felonies, before being turned over to Hanover police, authorities said.

The driver of the Fusion, 17-year-old Hector Correa, of Lebanon, was charged with disobeying a police officer, a misdemeanor, and summoned to appear in Lebanon Circuit Court on Dec. 17, Lebanon police said.

The shooting prompted a shelter-in-place order to be put into effect on the Dartmouth campus on Friday night, and police received numerous reports of gunshots “in the area around the Dartmouth campus and in other areas of Hanover,” said Dennis, the police chief.

Police responded on Friday night to those reports, and also returned during daylight on Saturday, but had not found physical evidence of additional gunshots as of 3 p.m., Dennis said. The shelter-in-place order ultimately was lifted around 12:30 a.m.

Dennis credited several police departments, including Lebanon, Canaan, Enfield, Plainfield, Lyme, Norwich, the Grafton County Sheriff’s Office and New Hampshire State Police for “working collaboratively” on the high-profile case.

Dartmouth’s shelter-in-place alert to thousands of students and employees also alarmed hundreds of parents, who began calling Hanover police for information as they searched for the gunman.

Doug Hackett, the communications coordinator for Hanover police, said in an email that the “Hanover Dispatch Center was overwhelmed with calls from concerned students and parents from all over the country after the Dartmouth shelter in place notice went out. Additional Dispatch staff was called in to the center to handle the estimated 234 calls that were (received) in the first hour and forty five minutes of the event.”

Eleanor Mitchell, a Dartmouth junior who lives in the Sigma Delta sorority, said she had heard the gunshot on Friday night, but initially thought it was a car-door slamming or a backfire. She had about 10 people in her room for a sorority event and closed her blinds as the sorority went into lockdown.

They listened to a police scanner through a smartphone and were reassured by the police response.

“I think we felt really safe, which was good,” she said.

Mitchell was walking on Allen Street on Saturday with her mother, Tara Mitchell, and younger brother, Will, who had been planning to visit anyway from Greenwich, Conn., and drove up on Saturday morning.

Tara Mitchell, a 1992 Dartmouth graduate, said she first learned of the shelter-in-place order in a text message from her daughter around 10:30 p.m. on Friday, then got something the college sent to parents about 30 minutes later.

Tara Mitchell said she was “extremely worried ... especially after what happened last Saturday, in Pittsburgh,” referring to a mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue that killed 11 people. “You just don’t know.”

Nigel Leeming, who co-owns Murphy’s near the Dartmouth Green, said the restaurant was packed on Friday night with about 140 people and that the shooting “really did shake some people up.”

“It makes you realize we are not immune to whatever is going on out there,” he said of gun violence. “It’s in a town near you, you know.”

Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon sent a campuswide email on Saturday updating the community on the incident.

“We are all grateful for the quick actions of first responders on campus and across the region. They worked through the night to ensure our safety,” Hanlon said. He also said counseling was available to students and employees.

And near the shooting scene itself, Melanie Golder, a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, and the head librarian of its Christian Science Reading Room, said she opened it two hours earlier than normal on Saturday morning to “support the community.”

“We just want to support peace and a sense of belonging, and (to show) a willingness to help,” Golder said.

John P. Gregg can be reached at jgregg@vnews.com or 603-727-3217.

UPDATES: Gage Young is expected to be arraigned on Monday afternoon.

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