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NH police chief killed days before retirement

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:26 AM EDT, Fri April 13, 2012
Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was killed in the line of duty on April 12, in New Hampshire, days before retiring.
Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was killed in the line of duty on April 12, in New Hampshire, days before retiring.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The police chief in Greeland, New Hampshire has been shot to death
  • He planned to retire in a few days
  • Greenland is a town 3,500 people located just south of Portsmouth
  • "This is a tragedy for our community," official says

(CNN) -- A police chief from southeastern New Hampshire who planned to retire in a few days has been shot to death while trying to execute a search warrant, authorities said Friday.

Chief Michael Maloney of the police department in Greenland, a town of about 3,500, was killed in a shooting that wounded four other officers on Thursday night at a home in the community, said Attorney General Michael Delaney.

"This is a tragedy for our community," he said. "Our law enforcement community is in mourning."

Two suspects, a man and a woman, were found dead in the home after a long stand off, Delaney said. Investigators believe the deaths came from either a "murder-suicide" or a "double suicide," he said.

Greenland is just south of the city of Portsmouth. Its police force has 10 members, the town says on its website.

During a news conference Friday, Delaney was asked why a police chief would be part of a dangerous mission so close to his retirement. He did not answer the question directly but said all the officers involved were part of a drug investigation.

The shootings come after a year in which U.S. cities saw an increase in officers killed.

The number of officers who died in the line of duty in 2011 increased 16% nationwide from last year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Last year, 177 officers were killed, compared with 153 in 2010, the organization said.

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