AG: Belmont Officer Was Justified In Using Deadly Force In Gas Station Incident

Nov 21, 2017

Credit Jason Moon for NHPR

The New Hampshire Attorney General says a Belmont police officer was justified in using deadly force during an altercation with a man in September.

The AG says the incident began when Belmont police officer Evan Boulanger approached Joseph Mazzitelli at a gas station. At the time, there was an active warrant for Mazzitelli’s arrest.

Surveillance footage from the gas station shows Mazzitelli, after speaking briefly with the officer, lunging into his car and emerging with a pistol pointed at his own head.

Attorney General Gordon MacDonald says at this point, Officer Boulanger drew his own weapon.

“In brandishing a firearm in a crowded service station, Mr. Mazzitelli posed an immediate and deadly threat, not only to himself but also to the officer and the members of the public at the gas station.”

According to the AG's investigation, both men fired their weapons at the same time, but it was Mazzitelli’s self-inflicted gunshot wound that caused his death.

A toxicology report showed Mazzitelli had high levels of methamphetamines in his system at the time of the shooting.

Belmont police say Officer Boulanger will return to duty today after being placed on administrative leave while the investigation was underway.

As part of the its investigation, the AG relied on surveillance footage from the gas station, which is posted below.

This video contains graphic content. It was compiled by the Attorney General using footage from two surveillance cameras at the scene of the incident, as well as audio recordings from police dispatchers and officers involved.