A “mentally ill” man who believed he had been implanted with a radio transmitter by the government is accused of shooting two cops in New Hampshire. The incident happened in the early hours of the May 13 at around 2:30 a.m. At around 10 a.m. and after an extensive search and shelter-in-place in Manchester, authorities announced that Ian MacPherson, 32, had been taken into custody and accused of the shootings.
MacPherson is facing two charges of attempted capital murder in the case and could face life in prison. He is being held without bail.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Thought a Member of Adolf Hitler’s Family Was Stalking Him
On his Facebook page and in the above YouTube video, MacPherson talks about his belief that he was implanted with a radio tracking device during a hospital visit in March 2007. In 2014, he published an extensive letter that he called a “witness statement” about, among other things, “Genocide in the USA, “Adolf Hitler’s family in the USA” and “evidence of the Italian-Axis complicity in the 9-11 terrorist attacks.”
You can read the full statement here:
Also in the letter, and in a post on his Facebook page, MacPherson says that someone he knows named Vittorio Emanuele has been stalking him. MacPherson adds that he believes Emanuele is a relation of Adolf Hitler. Regarding the implanting, MaPherson wrote, “Unfortunately people are going to blame the government and Obama, but this has nothing to with him. It was 5 and a half years ago and it was done in a hospital.”
He writes on his social media page about attending Merrimack High School in Merrimack, New Hampshire, and working as a cleaner for Waste Management. MacPherson gives one of his skills as being a “designated marksman.”
On May 5, MacPherson posting something on Facebook for the first time in over a year. His sister commented under it asking him to call her while her mother said that MacPherson had deleted her initial comment on the post. His father told WMUR that his son is mentally ill and thinks the system failed MacPherson.
2. Both Officers Are Expected to Survive
The officers have been named as Ryan Hardy, 27, and Matthew O’Connor, 28.
Police Chief Nick Williard told the media that the gunfire first rang out at around 2 a.m. on Ferry and Second street in Manchester. WMUR reports that the second officer was shot on Putnam and Dubuque Street. According to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office, “Officer Ryan Hardy saw a male walking on Second Street near Ferry Street. Officer Hardy approached the subject, as he fit the description of a male who robbed the Shell Gas Station at 245 Eddy Road on May 12, 2016.” Shortly after he radioed for backup, Hardy radioed again to say that he had been shot. That was at 2:03 a.m.
At 2:33 a.m., members of the New Hampshire State Police and the Manchester Police Department saw the suspect. He had his hands up initially but then began to fire on officers, according to the Attorney General. After firing, MacPherson fled into a nearby wooded area.
WHDH reporter Steve Cooper tweeted that O’Connor was shot in the calf while Hardy was shot in the cheek and torso though was still able to give a description of the assailant at the scene. Both are expected to survive. One is being treated at Catholic Medical Center while another is at Elliot Hospital.
In a statement, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte said, “Today we are reminded that our public safety officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. I extend my thoughts and prayers to the two Manchester Police officers who were shot in the line of duty, and to their families. I am grateful for their courageous service to the people of Manchester and to our state, and wish them a swift recovery.”
The Eagle Tribune reports that Hardy was formerly an officer in Derry, New Hampshire, he took up a post in Manchester in March 2015.
3. Ian MacPherson Was Initially Described as a ‘White Man With Long Hair Wearing a Trenchcoat With a Black Backpack’
As the search for MacPherson went on, the Associated Press reported that the only description authorities had said MacPherson was a “white man with long hair who is wearing a trench coat.” The report added that was being considered armed and dangerous.
New Hampshire 1 reports that Ian MacPherson was arrested at around 5:00 a.m. on Dubuque Street in Manchester. The station adds that Ian MacPherson had been wanted in connection with a gas station robbery that occurred on the morning of May 12. The New Hampshire Union Leader reports that MacPherson told police “I’m your man” when he was arrested.
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office says that MacPherson will be arraigned on May 16 in the 9th Circuit, District Court, Manchester Division. He has at least one prior arrest, in February 2012, for four counts of simple assault. He has not been charged in the gas station robbery yet.
4. One Witness Said He Heard ’10-12′ Shots Fired in Total
A witness to the shootings, Bob McKenna, told WMUR, “A little after 2:30, there was a series of rapid-fire shots, probably 10-12 of them. And I knew they were close by, I just didn’t know where. And within 30 seconds, cruisers were over here.”
The Boston Herald’s Chris Villani reported that eight kids were asleep “steps” from where the shootings occurred.
Schools on the west side of Manchester were put on lockdown as the search went on into the morning of May 13. Those lockdowns, as well as shelter-in-place orders that were issued in different neighborhoods, were all lifted prior to noon. New Hampshire 1 reports that Granite State College’s Manchester location has been closed for the day.
5. The Last Cop Killed by Gunfire in New Hampshire Was Stephen Arkell Who Died in 2014
According to a website dedicated to his memory, Officer Stephen Arkell of the Brentwood Police Department, was shot dead after he responded to a domestic disturbance in New Hampshire in 2014. He is the last officer to be killed by gunfire in the state. The suspect in the crime was named by WCVB as 47-year-old Michael Nolan.