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Concord man accused of shooting another with flare gun claims self-defense

Frank Treecarten

(Courtesy)

Frank Treecarten (Courtesy)

The Concord homeless man accused of shooting another man in the face with a flare gun Saturday did so possibly out of self-defense, according to a police affidavit released in district court.

Frank Treecarten, 63, who was arraigned yesterday by video feed from the Merrimack County jail, told officers responding to the incident that he fired the weapon after the man threw down his backpack, approached him “aggressively” and told him to shoot, the affidavit states.

The victim, who has not been charged with any crime, was taken to Concord Hospital and treated for facial lacerations, according to the affidavit. He and Treecarten told officers they had been in a verbal dispute at the time of the shooting, which took place near the intersection of Fort Eddy and Loudon roads.

Treecarten told officers the victim had become angry with him after he had advised him and a woman he was walking with to use a crosswalk. “Why don’t you mind your own business,” the man responded, Treecarten said. “You’ll live longer.”

Treecarten said he and the victim argued and, at one point, the man rushed toward him, tossing his pack in the process. Nervous, Treecarten pulled out an orange flare gun from his jacket and told the man he was going to shoot him, he told the officers. How or why he had the weapon is unclear.

Treecarten said the victim told him to fire the gun and he did, striking him in the face with a flare. The man then began to chase him, Treecarten told officers, and so he pulled out a small knife in self-defense, he said.

The victim, who received stitches for his injury, told officers he and Treecarten had been in a dispute, and that Treecarten shot him when he “approached Frank about the matter,” according to the affidavit. He said he then followed Treecarten to prevent him from evading the police and watched him toss the gun over the Merrimack River Bridge.

Treecarten has been charged with two felonies in the incident, one for second-degree assault and another for falsifying physical evidence. He gave no plea yesterday, and he offered a judge no further details about the exchange.

Assistant city prosecutor Steven Endes said Treecarten has no previous criminal convictions, but has had a few charges brought against him since the 1980s, including simple assault, arson and burglary. Treecarten’s public defender, Donna Brown, said he is a veteran who fought in Vietnam and has a daughter.

Treecarten’s bail was set at $8,000. He is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 6 for a probable cause hearing on the charges.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

HOW MANY MORE, MR. SPEAKER?!?!? How many more innocent people will be harmed with these heinous instruments of death before we wise up and pass sensible flare gun legislation?!?!?!

Dan, do you have any statistics on death by flare gun in the US?

No more or less than you had the last time I asked you for some.

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