Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald, New Hampshire Police Colonel Christopher J. Wagner, and Rochester Police Chief Paul Toussaint released additional details regarding the officer-involved shooting that took place earlier today (Monday) in Rochester.
On August 15, 2018, Rochester Police issued an Officer Safety Briefing Form indicating that there was “credible information” that Douglas Heath, 38, was staying at a location in Rochester, “may be in possession of ‘3 firearms’” and that Mr. Heath “has no intention of going to jail.”
The briefing form indicated that Mr. Heath had several warrants including one for trafficking narcotics and one for fleeing from Maine State Police. Shortly after 3:00 p.m. today police saw Mr. Heath’s car. A short time later, a pursuit followed. At approximately 3:15 p.m., Mr. Heath’s car crashed at the intersection of Oak Street and Route 125. Two Rochester Officers and two State Troopers were on scene. Mr. Heath exited his vehicle from the passenger side and an exchange of gun fire occurred. Mr. Heath was struck by gunfire and died at the scene.
A gun was found near his body. An autopsy will be performed by the Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jennie Duval on Thursday August 23, 2018. No officers or private citizens were physically injured during the incident. The troopers and the officers were taken to a hospital where they were evaluated and released.
The Rochester police cruisers are equipped with video cameras and microphones that may have captured portions of the incident. State Police cruisers do not have video equipment. Neither Rochester nor State Police officers have body cameras. At least one private citizen did capture some portions of the incident by video.
The exact circumstances surrounding the officers’ discharge of their weapons remain under active investigation. Pursuant to protocols, each officer is being placed on administrative leave. Pursuant to protocols, the names of the officers are being withheld pending their interviews, which are expected to take place later this week. Any person who witnessed this incident is asked to contact Sgt. Justin Rowe of the New Hampshire Police Major Crime Unit at (603) 271-3636.