Attorney General’s Office Releases Report On Claremont Shooting
At 4:30 this afternoon, the NH Attorney General’s Office released a 23-page report regarding the Sept. 25, 2016, officer-involved shooting incident in Claremont. The findings and conclusions in this report are based upon information gathered during the investigation, including viewing the scene of the incident, photographs, physical evidence, and numerous witness interviews, said the AG’s office.
According to the summary of facts, At about 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, September 25, 2016, Cody Lafont was dropped off at his home at 53 Congress Street in Claremont by friends, after spending the evening with those and other friends. Lafont had been drinking alcohol throughout the evening, and appeared to those with him to be heavily intoxicated, but not belligerent, aggressive, or despondent. Lafont lived alone, and there was nobody with him at 53 Congress Street, a single-family residence, when his friends dropped him off and left.
Lafont called 911 several times and requested a police officer. Corporal Ian Kibbe responded to the residence. When arrived at the door, At that point, Lafont, behind an interior screen door, was accompanied by his unleashed and barking pit bull dog, and was holding in one of his hands, up at his chest, Kibbe saw was a revolver. At that point, Kibbe repeatedly told Lafont to drop his weapon, backed up onto the lawn several yards away from Lafont, and unholstered his service pistol. Instead of dropping the revolver, Lafont opened the screen door, and his dog ran towards Kibbe and then veered off to the side, still barking.
Kibbe maintained his attention on Lafont, and continued to tell him in substance to drop his gun. Lafont did not say anything, strangely smiled at Kibbe, and then stepped towards the officer while moving the revolver that he held in the officer’s direction. At that point, believing that Lafont was going to shoot him and fearing for his life, Kibbe fired his service weapon three times. When Lafont fell to the floor in the doorway to his house and dropped his revolver, Kibbe approached and attempted to talk to Lafont and keep him conscious. Kibbe also reported shots fired on his police radio and called for officer backup and an ambulance.
Under RSA 627:5, II (a), a law enforcement officer, like a private citizen, is justified in
using deadly force when he/she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to
defend himself/herself or a third person from what he/she reasonably believes is the imminent use of deadly force, said the AG’s office.
After the incident, the revolver that Lafont was holding and pointed towards Kibbe was examined. The revolver was not loaded.
Accordingly, concludes the report, “Corporal Ian Kibbe of the Claremont Police Department was legally justified in using deadly force against Cody Lafont, and no criminal charges will be filed against Corporal Kibbe as a result of Mr. Lafont’s death.”
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