N.H. AG Says 11-Year-Old Charged With Murder in Alton Shooting

Mar 15, 2019

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office is charging an 11-year-old in the death of a man and woman at an Alton home Friday morning.

Autopsy results released Saturday show the woman, 50 year-old Lizette Ekert, died of single gunshot wound to the head. The medical examiner declared the manner of death a homicide.

The man, 48 year-old James Eckert, suffered more than one gunshot wound. He was initially transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital, where he died late Friday. 

The 11-year-old was taken into custody about two hours after Alton police officers responded to a 9-1-1 call at 76 Dobbins Way in Alton at about 7:30 a.m. 

He was charged Friday under juvenile laws with one count of reckless second degree murder and one count of attempted murder, before Mr. Eckert passed away.

Mr. Eckert's autopsy is now scheduled for Monday, March 18. 

Senior Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward could not say Friday whether Lizette Eckert, James Eckert or the juvenile in question were related. 

Pastor Sam Hollo, Kerri Gage, Russ Sample and Mary Mann gathered at the Community Church of Alton Friday as the community grappled with the news of the shooting
Credit Robert Garrova / NHPR

“I think it goes without saying that this is an incredibly tragic incident with a child involved,” he said.

The scene Friday afternoon in Alton was tense and somber as members of the community attempted to find out what they could.

At the Community Church of Alton, Russ Sample said he was close with the victims. James Eckert is a chiropractor by trade, Sample said.

“We’ve just been gathered here, praying for the family,” Sample said. “Jim was a practitioner that many of us visited to help heal our bones for a long time.”

Pastor Sam Hollo has opened the church and offered it as a place for people to gather. He said he knows Eckert personally as well.

“The suddenness of this is incredible,” Hollo said. “None of us really realized that there were troubles, so it caught all of us by surprise.”

It wasn’t lost on Sample and Mary Mann, who works at the local library, that Alton’s tragedy happened on the same day that dozens of people were murdered at two mosques in New Zealand.

“Alton is a very unique community and it rises up to these tragedies,” Sample said.

 (This story was updated Saturday with information regarding Mr. Eckert's death.)

The shooting occurred Friday morning at a home on Dobbins Way in Alton. Police say there is no threat to the public at this time.