A 48-year-old Brentwood, New Hampshire police officer was shot and killed while responding to a domestic call on Monday afternoon.
Officer Steve Arkell responded to a domestic dispute call at 46 Mill Pond Road at 4 p.m. and was fatally shot as he entered the home, Attorney General Joseph Foster said at a press conference held Monday night. A second officer arrived and entered the home but was driven out by gunfire.
A short time later, the house was engulfed in flames. The shooter, Michael Nolan, 47, is believed to have died in the fire or the explosion that followed. The fire has since been extinguished and neighbors were allowed to return to their homes.
Brentwood Police Chief Wayne Robinson said Arkell was a part-time officer for about 15 years. He was married and had two daughters in their teens.
"Tonight, I join all Granite Staters in mourning the loss of Brentwood Police Officer Steve Arkell, who died tonight doing his job, protecting this community," said Gov. Maggie Hassan, who lives just a few miles away in neighboring Exeter. "When an officer is killed in the line of duty, it strikes at the very fabric of our society, and I know all Granite Staters join with me tonight in sorrow for the loss of Officer Arkell."
Associate Attorney General Jane Young said additional information will likely be released at a press conference at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
"State police, the fire marshal, ATF and the FBI will remain here tonight and work on the scene," she said. "This has been a difficult few hours for the Brentwood Police Department and we can't imagine how it's been for the family."
Hassan directed flags to half-staff on Monday night in honor of Arkell.
"It is now the responsibility of all Granite Staters to honor Officer Arkell's sacrifice by coming together and doing everything we can to support those he has left behind," she said. "My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones, as well as everyone in Brentwood and the surrounding communities affected by this horrific tragedy."
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a former New Hampshire Attorney General, issued a statement calling Arkell's death "a senseless and shocking tragedy."
Losing a police officer in the line of duty, she said, "leaves a hole in our hearts that can never be filled, and I pray that Officer Arkell's family, friends and fellow officers will find strength in the difficult days ahead."
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said she was "saddened" to learn of Arkell's passing. "Thoughts are with his family & the entire Brentwood community," she said.
U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter said Arkell and his family "are in my prayers tonight."
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