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Manhunt in Salisbury woods ends with two arrests

A domestic incident led to a manhunt in Salisbury last night, ending with two arrests, according to a state police statement. Though shots were fired, no one was harmed.

The hunt ended with the arrest of Stuart McKenzie, 26, of Salisbury, who the police said was arrested without incident after emerging from woods near his home. Also arrested in the course of the incident was Danny McKenzie, 55, of Salisbury, in a separate domestic assault.

According to the state police statement, here is how the incident unfolded:

At about 4:45 p.m. yesterday, troopers from Troop D were called to 56 Scribner Road in Salisbury for a report of a domestic incident.

At the scene, the statement said, troopers learned Stuart McKenzie had fled on foot into the woods armed with a shotgun and box of shells. Witnesses said they had heard five shots fired from the area where McKenzie entered the woods.

After organizing down the road from the home, the statement said, troopers drove to the house and entered; inside, they found the occupants safe. After checking outbuildings, the statement said, several troopers remained at the home while others, joined by colleagues from Troops B, G and headquarters as well as officers from the Merrimack County Sheriff’s Department, Warner, Sutton and Webster police, formed a perimeter in an effort to contain McKenzie.

“The area where McKenzie was reported to be hiding is very large and bordered by many miles of road,” the statement said. “Each of the roads and intersections needed to be closely watched.”

Troopers were told McKenzie was an experienced outdoorsman who knew the area well, the statement said. Troopers went door to door, warning residents and checking outbuildings. Officers also found fresh boot prints in the snow.

A state police helicopter equipped with an infrared camera flew over the scene, and troopers on the perimeter were equipped with night vision goggles.

“On several occasions troopers in the helicopter located McKenzie,” the statement said. “However the terrain and pine trees allowed McKenzie to conceal himself.”

The troopers at the house learned that McKenzie was in contact with others by cell phone, the statement said, and state police communications specialists began working to track his location. While doing this, the statement said, the police realized that McKenzie believed the troopers aloft were aware of his location.

“A short time later McKenzie emerged from the woods and approached 56 Scribner Road,” the statement said, “where he was arrested without incident.”

McKenzie was transported to the Franklin police station for processing, the statement said. He was charged with three counts of simple assault, felon in possession of a firearm and felon in possession of ammunition. He was also wanted on an electronic bench warrant and is being held at the Merrimack County Jail. He will be arraigned on the remaining charges on Feb. 11 in Franklin’s district court.

McKenzie did not have a gun with him when arrested, the police said.

“Not far from Scribner Road troopers located five spent shotgun shells,” the statement said. “Troopers continued on through the woods another half mile and located the box, which was found to contain several shotgun shells, hidden under a stump. Further on troopers located a pump shotgun that was tucked into a crack between the stones of an old train bridge.”

The state police statement said that Danny McKenzie resisted their efforts to arrest him for a separate domestic assault. He was charged with simple assault, criminal threatening and resisting arrest. After being booked, the statement said, he was released on bail to appear in Franklin’s district court on Feb. 11.

The police, as well as a Salisbury fire and rescue crew, left the scene at about 11 p.m.

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