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News from everywhere *but* Central New Hampshire.

AG Says Police Justified in Use of Deadly Force in Hampton Shooting

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An investigation by the state Attorney General’s office has concluded that state troopers were justified in their use of deadly force in the shooting of a Portsmouth man last month.

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, investigators released audio and video evidence of the encounter between police and Barry Jones outside the Hampton state liquor store in June.

The AG’s office say when state troopers confronted Jones, police had already received a 911 report from Jones’ neighbors that he was armed with a pistol and had stolen a vehicle.

According to police and surveillance video from the liquor store, Jones ignored officers’ instructions to put his hands up and then pulled what appeared to be a pistol from his waist band. The two troopers then fired a total of 5 shots, killing Jones.

The weapon Jones had brandished was in fact a bb gun.

Just moments before the altercation, authorities say Jones sent a text message to his ex-wife saying in part “I’m sorry I love you but it time for me to check out.”

Ben Agati is with the AG’s office.

“She interpreted this text and the phrase ‘check out’ to mean that Mr. Jones was suicidal. Mr. Jones never made any statements to the police that day.”

Police say Jones had a history of mental health issues and drug abuse.

The two troopers involved in the shooting have been on administrative leave since the incident. State Police Colonel Chris Wagner says they’ll return to work when they’re ready.

This video contains graphic content. It was compiled by the New Hampshire Attorney General's office using footage from a surveillance camera outside the Hampton state liquor store as well as audio from police dispatchers and cell phone videos taken by bystanders at the scene.

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.

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