DANVILLE, N.H. — A 15-year-old boy described by neighbors and friends as pleasant and happy died suddenly Monday night inside the police chief’s house here, the circumstances surrounding his death a mystery.
Authorities released few details, saying in a brief statement only that Danville police and New Hampshire State Police were investigating “the circumstances surrounding the untimely death” of a minor.
Police said the residents of 53 Caramel Drive called 911 at 7:15 p.m. Monday.
Bryan Scanlon, a resident of Derry, said he was listening to a police scanner around that time and heard radio traffic saying that a 15-year-old had been shot at that address, the home of Police Chief Wade Parsons.
“Quite shocking when something like that happens so close to home,” Scanlon said, stopping his car briefly on Caramel Drive, on his way to visit a friend who lives on the street.
‘A terrible thing. He was a nice, funny kid. This is a shock’
Several news outlets, citing scanner reports, said the boy had been shot.
It was unclear whether Parsons was inside the house at the time.
Police did not disclose a cause of death, saying in the statement, “There is no further information being released regarding the victim in this instance, and there is no danger to the public.”
James Daley, a neighbor of Parsons, said he had known the boy to be at the house.
“This is so tragic,” Daley said. “I met the kid once, on a Christmas Eve.” Parsons had family and friends over at his house for a holiday party, and there was fun and music in the basement as the boy played guitar and shot pool, Daley said.
“No signs of anything, just a happy boy.”
The teen was a freshman at Timberlane Regional High School, where he was a member of the football and wrestling teams, several classmates said. The news of his death upset many students.
“This had made quite an impact in school,” said Max Ridley, a junior. “A lot of crying today.”
“A terrible thing,” said Harry Denonqourt, 17, a senior on the wrestling team. “He was a nice, funny kid. This is a shock. He was a freshman and I’m a senior, so we really didn’t know each other that well, even though we wrestled together. But he was a good person.”
The neighborhood where the shooting occurred is heavily wooded, with many of the single-family houses atop hills.
The residences are loosely situated and the streets have names like Milky Way and Lollypop Lane.
Parsons could not be reached for comment Tuesday. For most of the morning and through the early afternoon, the house appeared to be unoccupied.
A car carrying two unidentified women pulled up, followed roughly 90 minutes later by another car carrying two men.
The four stayed inside the house for about thirty minutes and departed with the women carrying out small bags apparently stuffed with clothing or personal belongings.
Parsons became chief in 1995. The town has a population of about 4,400, according to the 2010 Census.
Brian Ballou can be reached at email@example.com.