CRIME

Explosion Rocks New Hampshire Home After Officer Is Shot

05/12/2014 07:13 pm ET | Updated May 13, 2014

A large explosion rocked a house in Brentwood, New Hampshire, on Monday, shortly after a police officer was shot and wounded, WMUR-TV reports.

Police from multiple agencies responded to the home around 4:45 p.m. ET, after getting the report that an officer was involved in a shooting.

Ruth Michel, who lives in the neighborhood, told SeaCoastOnline.com that around 5 p.m. she could see smoke in the area and that police officers were running through the neighborhood and the nearby woods.

A fire broke out shortly after 5:30 p.m., the same time that a victim was seen being removed on a stretcher, NECN.com reports.

Along with dozens of police cruisers converging in the area, a SWAT team was sent to the house as well as an armored vehicle.

Around 5:50 p.m., a massive explosion rocked the house and blew off a large part of the roof.

State police have not confirmed the identity of the person shot or the shooter, but said the suspect is not in custody, SeaCoastOnline.com reports.

MORE FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:

BRENTWOOD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire police officer was shot to death after he responded to a domestic disturbance at a home that later exploded and burned, authorities said Monday.

The gunman was presumed dead in the ensuing blaze.

Attorney General Joseph Foster said late Monday night 48-year-old Stephen Arkell of Brentwood was shot to death when he answered the call in a suburban neighborhood for people older than 55.

After the shooting, the house burst into flames. A massive explosion blew the front off the house and within an hour, it was leveled.

Foster said Michael Nolan, 47, the son of the homeowner, is the suspected gunman. He is presumed dead.

"The entire State of New Hampshire is in mourning over the tragic loss of Brentwood Officer Steve Arkell," said Gov. Maggie Hassan. "Officer Arkell bravely answered the call of duty and made the ultimate sacrifice, a heroic demonstration of his commitment to the safety of his fellow citizens. Like so many of our first responders do on a daily basis, Officer Arkell courageously put his life on the line to protect others, and in doing so, was tragically taken far too soon."

Debra Vasapolli, director of public relations at Exeter Hospital, said that one person was taken to the hospital but said that person was not the victim of a gunshot wound. She declined to provide more details.

Neighbor Wayne Hughes told the Portsmouth Herald that police responded to the house after neighbors heard an argument Monday afternoon and called 911. His wife, Susan, said that she saw a police officer arrive at the home and then heard "rapid gun fire."

She said she saw Walter Nolan, 86, being taken from the scene by ambulance before she was evacuated from the area. Public records indicate the house is owned by Nolan and he apparently lived in the home with his son.

After the blaze started around 4 p.m., firefighters were kept away from the scene.

Aerial coverage from WMUR-TV (http://bit.ly/RAYnZq) shows flames burning through the roof of the house and an explosion punching out the front of the house shortly after 5:30 p.m. Within minutes of the explosion, the house was engulfed in flames as black smoke billowed over the neighborhood.

After firefighters started attacking the blaze around 6 p.m., the fire was largely knocked down about a half hour later and it didn't appear to have spread to neighboring houses.

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