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N.H. AG details mistakes made in fatal drug raid

CONCORD, N.H. — The state’s attorney general is critical of several decisions made by undercover drug task officers in the moments leading up to an April shoot-out in which Police Chief Michael Maloney of Greenland was killed and four officers were wounded.

Attorney General Michael Delaney says the undercover ­officers obtained a no-knock warrant to search the home of 29-year-old Cullen Mutrie for drugs, but opted instead to knock on the door in hope of drawing Mutrie out.

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When Mutrie did not ­respond, Delaney says, the officers hit the front door with a battering ram up to six times before it gave way. Mutrie imme­diately started firing and wounded two of the three officers on the porch. He then ­retreated to the basement of the house when officers returned fire. It was from there, Delaney said, that Mutrie fired the shot through the basement window that hit Maloney in the head as he peered over the front fender of his cruiser. Maloney, 48, was just days from retirement when he was shot.

Delaney revealed details of the State Police investigation into the shootings and findings of an independent Greenland Incident Review panel at a news conference Friday.

Delaney said the task force team leader, Detective Scott Kukesh of Newmarket, was late to the preraid briefing because he was on a security detail for a visit by Vice President Joe Biden earlier on April 12.

The commission questioned why the warrant was executed in haste when it would have been valid for another four days. The report noted that Kukesh had worked since very early in the morning on the secur­ity detail for Biden. Commission members were also critical of the time of the operation, just after 6 p.m., when darkness made it difficult to see silhouettes of those inside.

Delaney praised the courage and heroism of the officers ‘‘who sacrificed so much on April 12.’’

‘‘I am confident the lessons we have learned will strengthen our operation and decrease the risk of an incident like this happening again,’’ Delaney said.

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