AG: Belmont man shot by police officer died of self-inflicted gunshot 

  • Mazzitelli

  • Joseph Mazzitelli Jr. was killed during an officer-involved shooting Saturday at the Irving gas station on Plummer Hill Road in Belmont. The state Attorney General’s Office said Monday that an autopsy found Mazzitelli died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, though he had two other gunshot wounds. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Tuesday, October 03, 2017

A Belmont man shot by a police officer at a gas station in town Saturday died of a self-inflicted gunshot, according to autopsy results released Monday.

Joseph Mazzitelli Jr., 46, was hit three times by gunfire during an officer-involved shooting at the Irving gas station on Plummer Hill Road in Belmont about 2:50 p.m., but the fatal shot came from his own handgun, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office said.

“In addition to the self-inflicted gunshot wound, Mr. Mazzitelli also suffered two additional gunshot wounds,” according to results from an autopsy conducted by Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jennie Duval. “The exact number and sequence of gunshots fired by both Mr. Mazzitelli and the Belmont Police Officer involved in the incident remains under active investigation.”

Prior to the shooting, Mazzitelli was well-known to local authorities and the officer who shot him.

The state Attorney General’s Office said the Belmont officer pulled into the gas station and recognized Mazzitelli, who the officer believed was wanted on an active warrant. When the officer attempted to arrest Mazzitelli, he reportedly displayed a firearm. Mazzitelli fired his handgun at least once and the officer fired as well, according to reports.

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. Mazzitelli was indicted by a Belknap County grand jury last month on one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault, as well as three counts each of sexual assault and simple assault. A trial in that case was scheduled for February 2018.

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

On Monday, the state court system showed no active warrants for Mazzitelli. Police departments traditionally file arrest warrants after a defendant is taken into custody.

Mazzitelli was out of jail on bail conditions at the time of Saturday’s shooting. A judge ordered Mazzitelli’s bail set at $2,000 cash-only in the sexual assault case during a court appearance July 24. The next day, Mazzitelli was released from custody. Prosecutors had argued during his arraignment in that case that Mazzitelli was a danger to the public and should be held on more than twice the amount, according to published reports.

State Attorney General Gordon MacDonald said Saturday the name of the officer would not be released until the officer’s “formal interview,” which is expected to take place this week. That officer is on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.

The attorney general’s office is continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mazzitelli’s death and expects to release more information after the Belmont officer’s interview.

Mazzitelli died approximately 5 miles from his home on Dock Road in Belmont. Town assessment records show he purchased the single-family home with his wife at the time, Kim, in August 2011, and then took sole ownership of the property in November 2014.

He attended Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine, and previously lived in Rochester, according to public records. He leaves behind two daughters.

In posts on social media since Saturday, one of Mazzitelli’s daughters asked members of the public to stay off her father’s Belmont property and to respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time. She also posted old family photos and wrote that a celebration of life will be held in her father’s memory once the police investigation concludes.

The attorney general’s office is asking anyone with information about Saturday’s incident and anyone who had contact with Mazzitelli to call Justin Rowe of the New Hampshire State Police at 223-8849 or State Police Headquarters at 223-4381.

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