Belmont corporal named in officer-involved shooting at gas station

  • Joseph Mazzitelli Jr.

  • Belmont police Officer Evan Boulanger is pictured with police dog Vito on the cover of the 2014 annual report for the town. Courtesy

Monitor staff
Thursday, October 05, 2017

The defense attorney who last represented Joseph Mazzitelli Jr. in court is looking into the events that led to a shooting involving Belmont Cpl. Evan Boulanger on Saturday.

Attorney Mark Sisti, who defended Mazzitelli on sexual assault charges, said he was looking into the circumstances that led to Boulanger’s interaction with Mazzitelli, and the “alleged warrant” that sparked the confrontation.

On Wednesday, the state’s attorney general named Boulanger for the first time since the weekend shooting that ended with Mazzitelli’s death from a self-inflicted gunshot.

Mazzitelli, 46, was hit three times by gunfire at the Irving gas station on Plummer Hill Road in Belmont on Saturday afternoon, the attorney general’s office said. The state medical examiner concluded Monday that the fatal shot was fired from Mazzitelli’s gun.

Exactly how many gunshots were fired and the sequence of those shots remain under investigation.

Boulanger’s name was withheld for four days pending his interview with investigators. Boulanger has been employed by the Belmont Police Department for about nine years, is a member of the Belknap Regional SWAT Team and is a trained police dog handler. Following Saturday’s shooting, he was placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol in any officer-involved shooting.

Shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday, Boulanger pulled into the gas station on Plummer Hill Road and recognized Mazzitelli, who he believed was wanted on an active warrant, according to reports. Mazzitelli displayed a firearm when Boulanger attempted to arrest him, authorities said. Both men fired.

Assistant Attorney General Jason Casey has declined to provide any information about the warrant pending against Mazzitelli, citing the ongoing investigation.

Mazzitelli had a criminal record that included convictions for criminal trespass, criminal mischief, drunken driving and other motor vehicle infractions. He also had a history of domestic violence with two different women requesting restraining orders against him since the late 1990s.

Most recently, Mazzitelli was accused of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman while the two were out for a ride on his motorcycle in Gilmanton this past summer. He was indicted by a Belknap County grand jury in September on one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault, as well as on three counts each of sexual assault and simple assault. He was out of jail on bail conditions at the time of Saturday’s shooting.

The attorney general’s office said a preliminary report on whether Boulanger’s use of deadly force was justified will be released at the conclusion of the investigation.

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, adandrea@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)