E-Edition Advertise Subscribe Login Newsletter SignUp
Home News Sports Opinion Politics Things To Do Obituaries Classifieds Search

Frayed nerves in Concord Shootings are happening everywhere, including here

Karen and Jay Degreenia of Boscawen, above, and Melissa Kleasby, below, spoke about the incident this past weekend. - RAY DUCKLER / Monitor staff

Monitor columnist
Published: 11-22-2023 - 13:43:22

Karen Smith of Bow got stuck in traffic near the entrance to the New Hampshire State Hospital late Friday afternoon.

Not stop-and-go traffic. Parking lot traffic. She saw flashing lights in the distance and police cars racing past her, moving at least twice the posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour, counting 14 law enforcement vehicles turning into the sprawling complex.

Her mind raced, just like those police cars, some of which were State Troopers. A patient leaving the secure psychiatric center without permission? No. Recent events, all over the country, most recently in nearby Lewiston, Maine, told her something different.

"I was almost even with the State Hospital entrance," Smith said Sunday morning during breakfast downtown at Revelstoke.

"There were a lot of law enforcement cars. I was literally on the phone with my husband. As I sat there, I couldn't believe it. It's the first thing you think about now when you see that kind of law enforcement presence. I knew it must have been an active shooter situation, just in my thoughts, without knowing immediately."

We all know by now that she was right. A transient man named John Madore, once homeless on the Seacoast before recently moving to Concord, walked into the State Hospital Friday afternoon and, authorities said at a press conference Saturday, shot and killed unarmed security guard Bradley Haas, 63, a veteran working with the military police who once served as the Franklin police chief.

Madore allegedly killed Haas while he was delayed in some fashion at a metal director, before a yet-to-be named State Trooper part of the two-man security force employed at the hospital shot and killed Madore, 33.

At the press conference Saturday, Attorney General John Formella said the alleged killer "did not get past the metal detectors, so he was engaged (immediately)." Others were in the lobby at the time.

Autopsy results said both men were hit by multiple gunshots.

It also appears Madore was a patient at New Hampshire Hospital at some point in 2016 following a second-degree assault charge.

A U-Haul van was found running in the hospital parking lot, police said, containing an AR-15-style weapon, a tactical vest and ammunition. And while officials could not confirm Saturday that the vehicle had been rented by Madore, it suggests the possibility that he had plans to kill elsewhere.

As for the State Trooper's quick thinking, that most likely saved lives.

The names of towns like Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; and most recently, Lewiston, Maine, have been burned into the American psyche. Concord, fortunately, will not be remembered like those other places. But it could have had it not been for the quick response.

So now, as in so many areas of the country for more than two decades, we areleft to wonder how safe we really are.

As is often the case, the discussion moved into mental health and access to guns, part of our national debate that is regularly marked by vociferous, sometimes hate-filled dialogue.

"I think it goes back to the fact that we have so many mentally ill walking around who haven't been able to get treatment or get help," Smith said. "And they can somehow get access to guns and it puts us all at risk."

This is a gray area, of course. Mental illness does not always equate to violence. Just as homelessness does not directly connect to mental illness in all cases.

Homeless people worry about what everyone worries about. Melissa Kleasby sat downtown this past Friday night, across the street from the Merrimack County Savings Bank, its sign reading 10:15 p.m., 60 degrees.

Homeless, she was putting up her tent around the time of the shooting when she saw and heard a line of police cars zipping past her on I-93.

"People are just angry at the world," said Kleasby. "Rents are higher, food's higher. They think their only outlet is to maybe pick up a gun and hurt people. That's scary."

Kleasby said she worries about herson's safety every day, and did so before the events of Friday. She said shooting deaths are part of life, like never before.

Sunday morning, Karen and Jay Degreenia of Boscawen sipped coffee at Revelstoke. They have grandchildren in Penacook, one in grade school, the other in high school.

"I worry for them all the time, even when they go to a place like the trampoline park," Karen said. "Just going to a regular park, you're always kind of hyper-aware of what is going on around you. It's not as carefree as it used to be."

Smith sat nearby, nearly done with her breakfast. She has a son in Portland, Maine, 30 miles from Lewiston. She said he stayed home, hunkered down, for two days after the shootings. She said that incident hit www.

This one hit closer.

"I like to say I was shocked, and I was not shocked, but so anxious," Smith said. "I got nervous. I was like, 'Yeah, it's here.' It's like it can literally be anywhere."


Downtown: Grateful relationship between merchant, customer is flourishing on Main Street

City of Franklin rejects lawsuit settlement from local business owner Miriam Kovacs

Three million people expected to visit NH this winter, and spend about $1.5 billion

Beaver Meadow clubhouse failed to meet criteria for community center grant


Hockey previews: Concord looking for more scoring options this season

Football: D-II, D-IV All-State rosters announced

Hockey previews: Concord looking for more scoring options this season

High schools: Division III hoops opening night, Franklin sweeps Pittsfield in D-IV

Boys' basketball: Hillsboro-Deering wins season opener for Hillcats' first victory since Feb. 9, 2022

Boys' basketball previews: Pembroke optimistic after championship appearance

Golf: Brady's Jason Bird named D-III Coach of the Year, All-State teams announced

High schools: Concord, Bow, John Stark wrestling open season with victories

Girls' basketball preview: Team chemistry, offense are a focus for Falcons under new coach Emerson

High schools: Concord Christian boys, Pittsfield girls hoops pick up first victories

High schools: Concord Christian boys' hoops, Pittsfield girls lose season openers

Wrestling preview: Growth of the sport and roster numbers a common theme for area programs

Division IV boys' basketball preview: Concord Christian looks to keep momentum

MV grad Gavin Wheeler rebounds from heart procedure to help Proctor Academy on the soccer field

Soccer: All-State rosters released; Coe-Brown's Hils, Bow's Smith named D-II Coach of the Year

New England College football will join Commonwealth Coast Conference

Volleyball: Coe-Brown headlines area teams in 2023

'This could happen to anyone': John Stark sophomore overcomes cancer diagnosis to help lead the Generals to a state championship

Cross country: Area runners compete at New Englands

Field hockey season recap: John Stark defends its title

Fall 2023 players of the season


Opinion: Public-private approach to clubhouse funding has not been adequately explored

Letter: Re-evalute clubhouse costs

Letter: The only question left

Letter: Beaver Meadow, an asset to the city

Opinion: Everyone's freedom is incomplete without freedom of the Palestinians

Opinion: Traditions, troops, and hoops

Letter: Response to 'fish hatcheries'

Letter: We the people

Opinion: The heavens are telling

Opinion: Who is Donald Trump?

Letter: Preserve? Protect? And defend?

Letter: Preserving our republic

Opinion: The Broken Ground site is best for education

Letter: Israel-Gaza War

Letter: Mayor Bouley's legacy

Letter: Beaver Meadow's new gathering place


Things To Do

Concord Chorale holds December concert

Players receive $50,000 matching gift pledge

Is it normal or a problem if your evergreens are browning?

Homeyer: 2023 holiday gifts for the gardener

Holiday folk concert returns to Concord

Holiday artist demo at Twiggs Gallery

Vintage Views: Our beloved depot

Symphony NH to hold Holiday Pops concert in Concord

Around Concord

Local Advertisers



Lend your voice to the discussion, view the Monitor's list of submission forms below:

Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301

© 2023 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy

Customer Service

• 603-224-4287
• customerservice@cmonitor.com

Social Media



Part of the Newspapers of New England Family

Amherst Bulletin
Athol Daily News
Concord Monitor
Daily Hampshire Gazette
Greenfield Recorder
Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Valley News
Valley Advocate
The Concord Insider