A traffic stop in Dalton turned deadly Wednesday night as a driver and a New Hampshire State Police trooper exchanged gunfire, authorities said.
The driver, identified as 45-year-old Mark Clermont of Whitefield, was killed at the scene, the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office said Thursday afternoon. He was armed with a rifle and a handgun.
Clermont's death has been ruled a homicide by Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Mitchell Weinberg, who conducted an autopsy Thursday, the AG's office said.
The state trooper, who was brought to the hospital and remains there Thursday afternoon, was in critical but stable condition, the office said. He is being treated for gunshot wounds.
The state trooper had stopped the vehicle on Bridge Hill Road in Dalton around 9 p.m. on Wednesday evening. Not long after, authorities say, gunfire was exchanged between the trooper and the driver, who was the only occupant of the vehicle.
The initial reason for the traffic stop is unclear.
"Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line for us every day, so I am always deeply concerned whenever one of them is injured," New Hampshire Senate President Chuck Morse said in a statement Thursday morning. "My thoughts and prayers go out to the state trooper wounded in Dalton and his family. We all wish for his speedy recovery."
The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office had released very limited info about the shooting Wednesday night, but said it was responding to a "deadly shooting incident" involving a trooper and an adult male.
The state trooper was not wearing a police body camera and there was no cruiser camera on the scene, officials said.