Second man arrested in Amesbury shooting

·4 min read

Jan. 13—AMESBURY — A second man wanted in connection with the shooting of a Mill Street man in November was arrested in New Hampshire last week, according to police.

The capture of Robert Doucette, 43, came several weeks after local police issued a warrant for his arrest. A second man, John Conway of Boston, was arrested in mid-December and arraigned in Newburyport District Court.

Conway remains held without bail after a judge deemed him too dangerous to be afforded bail while awaiting trial. He is due back in court Feb. 8 for a probable cause hearing, setting the stage for possible indictment by a grand jury.

Police say Doucette shot Robert Coote in the knee shortly after he and Conway broke into the man's apartment and stole a floor safe.

Doucette's capture by police in New Hampshire comes after a state police detective received an anonymous call linking him to the crime. The trooper then called local police, according to court records.

Conway, 51, of Dorchester is charged with aggravated breaking and entering/person in fear, aggravated assault and battery with serious boldly injury, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, mayhem, larceny from a building, armed robbery and home invasion.

Conway and Doucette kicked in the door of Coote's apartment on Nov. 15 after staking it out from their rented car, according to court records.

Police say Doucette shot Coote, a convicted drug dealer, in the right knee before they made off with a floor safe in the apartment. Coote was transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital, where he was treated and released days later.

They then fled on foot and were seen by a neighbor getting into a Toyota sedan and driving away. That car was recorded by a video camera as it drove around the Mill Street boarding house and parked in a nearby lot just prior to the home invasion. While in the apartment, Amesbury police found in plain sight a large amount of marijuana and a digital scale with white powder on it, according to Officer Scott Peters' report.

Over the years, Coote has had several run-ins with law enforcement and has served jail time for dealing drugs and other offenses, according to Newburyport District Court records.

Another resident of the Mill Street boarding house saw the two men enter the building and walk into the common kitchen area on the first floor. The witness described them as being between 35 and 40 years old, and one of them chatting about the weather.

Another witness saw the two men run out of the building a few minutes later after hearing a "couple of loud bangs," Amesbury police Detective Ray Landry wrote in his report.

The property manager told police the two men's arrival and departure were caught on video camera and he gave investigators a copy of the footage.

At the hospital, Coote told Sgt. David Noyes he did not know the two men who broke into his apartment armed with handguns.

"Mr. Coote told Sgt. Noyes that when the men were leaving he had words with him and this is when one of the men shot him in the knee," Landry wrote in his report.

Later that day, Landry posted the video on a statewide police network, looking for help in identifying the two gunmen.

Within a few days, a Boston Police Department officer told Landry that one of the men was Conway and that she had arrested him in 2015 for soliciting a prostitute and that he was known as a "B&E guy who does drug rips," Landry wrote in his report.

Another Boston police officer confirmed Conway was one of the men in the video.

Landry also received word from an anonymous caller that the other man in the video was Doucette and that he bragged to someone that "he shot the kid in the leg twice, got drugs, money and a safe," according to the detective's report.

On Nov. 22, Detective Matthew Cunningham showed photos of Conway and Doucette to a witness and Coote. Both of them verified Conway was one of the two men.

A day later, Landry received a call from someone who said Conway was in Nashua, New Hampshire — a fact confirmed by speaking to a Nashua police officer. Based on his investigations, Landry issued a warrant for Conway's arrest.

Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

Dave Rogers is a reporter with the Daily News of Newburyport. Email him at: drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

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