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Full Ag Report On Nashua Officer-involved Shooting Details A Harrowing Chase, Struggle - Nashuatelegraph.com

Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps. Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess Sign up or Login NASHUA Nashua police officer Stephen Morrill thought his foot chase, and subsequent series of scuffles, with suspect Craig Riley might be coming to an end when Riley, a suspect in a Bedford crime, seemed to calm down and finally stop fighting. But according to the final report on the March 22 incident, which the Attorney Generals office released Thursday afternoon, Riley only appeared to stop resisting because he was just about to grab Morrills gun from its holster. At that moment, Officer Morrill realized that Rileys hands were on (Morrills) belt line, and (Morrill) felt Rileys hand come over and touch (Morrills) gun, according to the eight-page report. It states that Morrill called upon his training and immediately pinned his gun to make sure Riley couldnt pull it out, and was able to push Riley away to create distance between the two. The tense moments came during Rileys attempts to flee from Morrill, a four-year Nashua police patrolman who eventually shot Riley twice to put an end to the confrontation. Thursdays release of the full report comes six days after Superior Court Judge Charles Temple sentenced Riley to 5-10 years in State Prison, the term agreed to in a plea deal between County prosecutors and Rileys chief attorney, public defender Anthony Sculimbrene. Riley, 41, had been indicted on 16 counts stemming from the incident, including six counts of simple assault and four counts of resisting arrest along with felony counts of taking a firearm from a police officer and felon in possession of a deadly weapon. Morrill, who attended the Oct. 31 sentencing hearing, returned to patrol duty in May after several weeks of paid administrative leave and desk duty while the attorney general and Nashua police investigated the shooting. The attorney general released a preliminary report on May 16 that concluded Morrill was justified in using deadly force because he had a reasonable belief he was in danger of death or serious injury, most notably at the point when Riley gained possession of Morrills baton and raised it in the air with the apparent intention of striking Morrill in the head, according to the report. It was at that point that Morrill raised his weapon and fired two shots at Riley to subdue him, the report states. The two were at that time in the hallway of 5 New Haven Drive, one of the apartment buildings in the Knightsbridge Arms complex. The report also states that Morrill radioed for backup several times during the incident, but he either didnt get a response or dispatchers answered that they couldnt understand what he was saying. The series of incidents that led to the confrontation and eventual arrest of Riley began when Morrill was dispatched to the apartment complex to try and locate a van that Bedford police were searching for in connection with a theft from the Wal-Mart store in their town. The van, according to the report, is registered to Rileys mother, Elizabeth Riley, who lives in the complex. It notes that Morrill was assigned to another area of the city on that shift, but was dispatched to the complex because the other patrol units were tied up at the time. Another officer radioed Morrill, according to the report, to tell him he might encounter Craig Riley, who the officer described as a known burglar (who) had served a lot of prison time. It states that Morrill located information and a photo of Riley on his cruiser computer. As Morrill pulled into the parking lot, the report states, he saw the van he was looking for coming toward him. When the van pulled into a parking space, Morrill parked behind it, activated his blue lights and radioed headquarters that hed located the van and that it was occupied, the report states. Morrill then saw a man he recognized as Riley get out of the van and appear AirAmbulance to make a phone call. Morrill identified himself as a police officer and told Riley to stop, according to the report, but Riley, after glancing back at Morrill, took off running. Thus began the lengthy foot chase and series of scuffles, the first of which occurred near a set of buildings past 5 New Haven Drive on ground Morrill described as muddy and icy.

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