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Ray Duckler

Ray Duckler: Brentwood officer Steve Arkell touched many

  • Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau (left), New Hampshire Attorney Generay Joseph Foster, and Brentwood police Chief Wayne Robinson walk to the press conference on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau (left), New Hampshire Attorney Generay Joseph Foster, and Brentwood police Chief Wayne Robinson walk to the press conference on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau, speaks during a press conference on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau, speaks during a press conference on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau, speaks to the press on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau, speaks to the press on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • A woman who lives in the neighborhood listens as Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau spoke to the press on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    A woman who lives in the neighborhood listens as Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau spoke to the press on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Brentwood police Chief Wayne Robinson listens as Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau, answers questions at a press conference on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Brentwood police Chief Wayne Robinson listens as Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau, answers questions at a press conference on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Brentwood police Chief Wayne Robinson pauses after speaking to the press on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Brentwood police Chief Wayne Robinson pauses after speaking to the press on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau, holds up a photo of Officer Steve Arkell to the press on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 during a press conference about the shooting of Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau, holds up a photo of Officer Steve Arkell to the press on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 during a press conference about the shooting of Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • A makeshift memorial sits where Mill Pond Road is blocked off following the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    A makeshift memorial sits where Mill Pond Road is blocked off following the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau (left), New Hampshire Attorney Generay Joseph Foster, and Brentwood police Chief Wayne Robinson walk to the press conference on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau, speaks during a press conference on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau, speaks to the press on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • A woman who lives in the neighborhood listens as Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau spoke to the press on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Brentwood police Chief Wayne Robinson listens as Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau, answers questions at a press conference on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Brentwood police Chief Wayne Robinson pauses after speaking to the press on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 about the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Jane Young, chief of the New Hampshire attorney general criminal bureau, holds up a photo of Officer Steve Arkell to the press on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 during a press conference about the shooting of Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • A makeshift memorial sits where Mill Pond Road is blocked off following the shooting of Brentwood police officer Steve Arkell, 48, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Mill Pond Road on May 12.<br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

Jane Young, a veteran, hard-boiled law enforcement official, doesn’t let her guard down easily.

Yesterday, though, she did.

The state associate attorney general told the media that earlier in the day she’d been with the family of Brentwood police Officer Steve Arkell, who was shot and killed in the line of duty Monday.

Give the family time to grieve, Young asked us.

Then, fighting back tears, her voice cracked with emotion.

“Words cannot describe what they have,” Young said, “and they have asked me to ask all of you to please respect their privacy.”

Young quickly snapped back into place, measured, firm, controlled, but the tone of the afternoon, gray and unseasonably cold, had been set.

She was the lead voice during a press conference, held on an empty stretch of unmanicured grass, trying to explain the unexplainable.

She was there Monday, near the Nolan home, which exploded with Arkell and Michael Nolan, the alleged shooter, inside.

We couldn’t see the charred duplex, just beyond a ridge of trimmed grass, but the blast was caught on camera. “It shook,” Young said. “The earth shook.”

And now Brentwood is shaking.

Media outlets south to Boston and north to Portland, Maine, were there, with their satellite trucks and their tall towers and their questions.

Arkell, a part-time police officer, 48 years old, a husband and father of two teenage girls, had died after responding to a domestic dispute between a father and his son.

“As you are all well aware, these investigations take a period of time,” Young said. “It’s in the early stages.”

She laid out a timeline that spanned 4:02 to 6:19 p.m. During that stretch, a neighbor called the police and said someone was cursing inside a nearby house.

Arkell responded to the call and saw a senior citizen, 86-year-old Walter Nolan, standing in front of his duplex, in a community with nice lawns and nice people.

Arkell, unable to pry information from Nolan, was given permission to go inside and was met immediately by a spray of bullets.

“Witnesses indicate that they heard what they describe as three volleys of gunfire,” Young said.

When it was over, when the shooting had stopped and a fire had burned and the house had exploded, Arkell was dead, killed by multiple gunshot wounds, Young said. His remains were found in the back of the house, long after the mysterious explosion.

Officials suspect Walter Nolan’s son, 47-year-old Michael Nolan, fired the fatal shots. His remains were found in what had been the garage. As of last night, we don’t know how he died.

But we know something about Arkell. For one thing, he loved animals, as illustrated by his role as the town’s animal control officer.

Wayne Robinson, Brentwood’s longtime police chief, said after the informal press conference that Arkell did what he could to help people with financial problems who had trouble caring for their pets.

“He’d find a way to help,” Robinson said.

As a police officer, Robinson said, Arkell gave you a break, if at all possible.

“Instead of giving someone a ticket, he would bypass something like that and try to work out something else,” the chief said. “He never wanted to give out a fine unless he really, really had to. He did that for a lot of the town.”

And when he wasn’t taking care of animals or showing a soft spot while on duty, Arkell coached his two daughters, helping out with the Exeter High lacrosse team.

Sports were always a big part of his life. Brentwood police Lt. David Roy grew up with Arkell, played sports with him, helped him get his job on the force.

Arkell, Roy said, was a great hockey, baseball and soccer player.

“Always a fantastic athlete,” Roy said. “He was always better than me.”

Elsewhere, Arkell had his own construction business, and in fact installed a brand-new bathroom in Roy’s home, just last year.

“Probably one of the best people I’ve ever known,” Roy said. “Steve was a great dad, great friend, son, brother, husband, and always very proud of his girls. He used to come in and talk to me all the time about his girls and how well they were doing in lacrosse. One of the proudest fathers I’ve ever known.”

Asked by a reporter what he’d want Askell’s daughters to know about their dad, Roy, a barrel-chested former military man, paused to collect himself, his eyes tearing up.

It was tough to be tough yesterday afternoon.

“He’s just an amazing man,” Roy finally answered. “Someone that they could always be proud of.”

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

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Slain officer had no chance to fire in Brentwood shooting

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Brentwood police officer fatally shot by a man who later died in a roaring house fire was invited into the home by the gunman’s father during an argument and was immediately cut down without a chance to draw his weapon, authorities said yesterday. The state attorney general’s office said Officer Steve Arkell died before the conflagration Monday that destroyed … 0

My condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Officer Steve ARKELL. M ANDERSON Detective Sergeant 8329 Task Force Argos Queensland Police Service

Such a tragedy. My heart and good thoughts go out to all who knew and loved Officer Arkell.

Sincerest condolences to this family in a senseless killing. A husband, father, extended family member leaves a lot of people in grieving and forever missed......Just as the state honors this officer who gave his life in the line duty I wish the news would report daily and the state would fly the flag at half-mass for every solider that dies defending this country.

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