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Shots fired at teen who entered Portsmouth home, looking for a party

When a teen walked into an unlocked home in Portsmouth, N.H. early Saturday morning, he expected to find a party. But it was the wrong address, and the mix-up ended with the homeowner firing shots at the teen while he was driving, according to Portsmouth police.

No one was injured, police said in a statement, and an investigation is ongoing.

The incident happened at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday at 140 Summer St., where the teen had been told via a message on social media that there would be a party, police said. The door was unlocked, and when the teen walked inside, the residents woke up.


Portsmouth police officers had been on a motor vehicle stop on nearby Islington Street when they heard the gunshots and were immediately called to respond, according to a release posted on the Portsmouth Police’s Facebook page Saturday afternoon.

A woman who lives at the home called police to report the intruder and said she and her partner encountered the unknown man in a car parked outside and “her partner, armed with a pistol, fired upon the vehicle as it fled from the area,” according to the release.

Boston 25 News reported Saturday that former Portsmouth Police Commissioner Brenna Cavanaugh, who lives at the home with her partner, Mark Gray, said the shots weren’t fired at the vehicle as it fled. The car was accelerating toward the couple, Cavanaugh said, and Gray fired the gun in self-defense.

“We had no idea what we were dealing with, and we feared for our lives,” Cavanaugh told Boston 25 News.

Cavanaugh served on Portsmouth’s Police Commission for four years and presided over her last commission meeting in December.

Anyone with additional information about the incident is asked to contact Detective Peter Sheldon with Portsmouth police at 603-610-7609.


Emily Williams can be reached at emily.williams@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilye_williams.