Trooper's shooting of Concord man in mental health crisis justified, AG says

Josie Albertson-Grove, The New Hampshire Union Leader, Manchester
·3 min read

Apr. 14—A state trooper was justified in shooting a Concord man in the arm last April, the state Attorney General's Office concluded in a second report into the shooting.

The Attorney General's Office ruled the shooting justified in an April 2020 summary of the shooting, but did not release a full report. The man who was shot still had criminal charges pending, but the full report was issued Wednesday.

After responding to a burglar alarm in a building in White Park on April 4, 2020, police found a man later identified as Dylan J. Stahley, then 22, wandering around the baseball field.

As officers arrived, Crystal Stahley, Dylan Stahley's sister, ran out to the field. "Dylan!" she yelled. "Stop! Don't do it!"

She told officers her brother was drunk, that he had a gun, and wanted to die by suicide.

City police and state troopers surrounded the baseball field, and later said they saw Stahley meandering around the middle of the field, a drink in one hand and a pistol in the other.

Officers told him to drop the gun, according to the report from the Attorney General's Office, but he did not. He brandished the gun at officer and nearby houses, and pointed the gun at himself, putting it to his chin and his temple, police later recounted.

He slurred his words as said he was going to shoot himself, and asked the officers to shoot him.

"Do I have to shoot you?" Stahley asked as he swung his gun around. "Are you going to shoot me?" He started screaming obscenities, getting more and more agitated.

"Shoot me!" he yelled. "Eight of you and one of me, someone better shoot me or I'm going to kill all of you tonight."

Officers who were at the park that night said Stahley mostly kept the gun pointed at himself after that.

A Concord police officer was trying to talk Stahley down.

"Put the gun down, we are here to help," an officer said to Stahley.

Then, Stahley swung his gun around toward State Trooper Michael Petrillo, who was about 100 yards away. Petrillo fired his rifle at Stahley, shooting him in the arm.

Stahley dropped his pistol, and fell to the ground.

Police performed first aid, the report said, and called an ambulance. They found a plastic bag of ammunition in Stahley's pocket, and five cans of White Claw Hard Seltzer in his backpack.

Stahley later told police he thought he deserved to die, but was lucky to be alive.

"I would never hurt anyone else. Just myself," Stahley told another state trooper at the hospital, according to the report. "I would never want an innocent cop to die."

But a Deputy Attorney General reviewing the case said it was reasonable that Petrillo thought he was in danger, and was justified in shooting Stahley. Petrillo will face no criminal charges.

Stahley was charged with reckless conduct and two counts of criminal threatening. Because Stahley had a criminal record, he was not supposed to have a gun, and was also charged with being a felon in possession of a dangerous weapon.