NH police chief killed days before retirement

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

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.