CONCORD/CLAREMONT, NH–Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald and New Hampshire State Police Colonel Christopher J. Wagner announced Tuesday afternoon that the Attorney General’s Office has amended its conclusion regarding the officer-involved shooting incident that occurred in Claremont resulting in the death of 25-year-old Cody Lafont. The NH Attorney General issued a detailed report on October 19, 2016, concluding that Claremont Police Corporal Ian Kibbe’s actions on Sept. 25, 2016, which resulted in the shooting death of Lafont, were legally justified and thus, no criminal charges were filed against him. Kibbe told authorities that after he arrived, he encountered Lafont standing at the front door holding a handgun. He said that he ordered Lafont to drop the gun but instead, Lafont stepped towards Kibbe and moved his gun 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, fatally wounding Lafont. In March 2018, the Attorney General’s Office was advised of potential criminal conduct on Kibbe’s part, which had taken place while he was acting in his capacity as a police officer. A criminal investigation was initiated, which ultimately led to Kibbe’s conviction for two crimes concerning the falsification of documentation related to a police search, unsworn falsification and obstructing government administration. As a result, the AG’s Office decided to review the 2016 shooting. The subsequent review consisted of a re-examination of all the evidence, taking into account all of the information gathered during the 2018 investigation into Kibbe’s unrelated crimes. That review turned up no new information or any significant discrepancies between Kibbe’s statements concerning the shooting of Lafont and the evidence gathered in 2016, said the Attorney General. In addition, Dr. Marilyn Miller, a nationally recognized expert in crime scene reconstruction, was retained to review the 2016 shooting incident. In its conclusion released today, the Attorney General said, “Accordingly, based on a review of the case and considering all the evidence, including Mr. Kibbe’s subsequent criminal conduct and the questions it raised about his credibility as a police officer, the Attorney General’s Office can no longer conclude that Mr. Kibbe’s actions were legally justified. Instead, the Office has concluded that it could not disprove Mr. Kibbe’s self-defense claim, beyond a reasonable doubt, and therefore no criminal charges will be filed against Mr. Kibbe as a result of Mr. Lafont’s death.” As reported in this week’s e-Ticker News, the estate of Cody LaFont is suing Kibbe, the City and Kibbe’s supervisor claiming Lafont was the victim of excessive force and discrimination because of a mental disability; the suit claims Lafont’s estate is entitled to monetary damages under the Fourth and Fourteenth amendments of the US Constitution against excessive force and the Americans with Disability Act.
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