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AG: Belmont man pulls gun, killed by police officer outside gas station

  • A Belmont police cruiser is shown outside of the Irving gas station on Plummer Hill Road in Belmont on Saturday. RAY DUCKLER / Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Belmont police officer shot and killed 46-year-old Joseph Mazzitelli on Saturday at an Irving gas station, Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said at a hastily called press conference in the Belmont Police Department parking lot.

MacDonald said an officer pulled into the station on Plummer Hill Road about 2:50 p.m. and spotted Mazzitelli, who lived in Belmont, and whom the officer suspected was the subject of outstanding warrants. After receiving confirmation, “An encounter ensued, during which time Mazzitelli displayed a firearm,” MacDonald said in a prepared statement. “The officer discharged his weapon. The incident took place next to a car Mr. Mazzitelli had driven to the gas station.”

Mazzitelli was pronounced dead at Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia. No one else was hurt.

MacDonald did not identify the police officer, who was placed on administrative leave.

“Pursuant to protocol, the name of the officer involved in the incident is being withheld pending the officer’s formal interview,” MacDonald said, adding that the interview is expected to take place early this week.

MacDonald also said that the officer was not wearing a body camera, nor was his cruiser equipped with one, but “there were surveillance cameras at the gas station.”

There were 11 witnesses at the gas station when the confrontation occurred, MacDonald said. The station and a Circle K convenience store are part of the same complex, which was cordoned off with yellow police tape through the afternoon and into the early evening.

News crews and satellite trucks were outside the parking lot on Overlook Road as the night chill arrived, before moving to police headquarters, where MacDonald made his announcement under the harsh glare of television lights.

He took no questions.

Media reports have identified a Joseph Mazzitelli of Belmont as a suspect in several crimes.

WMUR reported the arrest of a Joseph Mazzitelli in January of last year in Belmont. Police charged him with burglary and criminal trespassing after he was found prowling around homes on Forest Drive late at night.

Last month, the Union Leader reported that a Joseph Mazzitelli of Belmont was indicted on a charge of attempted aggravated felonious sexual assault against a 23-year-old woman last July in Gilmanton.

MacDonald is seeking help from the public about Saturday’s incident, asking anyone with information or who had had contact with Mazzitelli to call Justin Rowe of the New Hampshire State Police at 223-8849, or State Police Headquarters at 223-4381.

Editor’s note: This article was changed to correct the first name of Joseph Mazzitelli, the man shot by police. 

(Ray Duckler can be reached at 369-3304 or rduckler@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @rayduckler.)