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State trooper stabbed, suspect shot during struggle in New Salem

The intersection of Route 202 and Fay Road was closed while police investigated.Jackson Cote for the Boston Globe

NEW SALEM — An 18-year-old New Hampshire man was shot after he allegedly stabbed a Massachusetts state trooper following a motor vehicle pursuit that spanned three states before ending in this rural town Friday afternoon, authorities said.

The 47-year-old trooper was stabbed multiple times in the neck and shoulder area by the suspect, an 18-year-old man from Manchester, N.H., officials said. The suspect, who was shot at least once in the torso, is facing multiple charges, including armed assault with intent to murder, officials said.

Both men were taken to University of Massachusetts Medical Center. State Police spokesman David Procopio said in a statement Friday night that both men were out of surgery and in stable condition. Neither man was identified.


Steven Gagne, first assistant in the Northwestern district attorney’s office, said the suspect, based on a “very preliminary assessment,” was expected to survive.

Gagne said who exactly fired the shot was still under investigation. “All I can say is that the shot was in response to the trooper being attacked,” he said, speaking at a late afternoon press conference in New Salem.

The suspect is expected also to face charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and failure to stop for police, according to state police.

The incident unfolded shortly after 2 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Route 202 and Fay Road.

Authorities were still at the crash scene at 8 p.m. with the intersection sectioned off with crime scene tape. A damaged Toyota sedan was being loaded onto a flatbed truck.

State Police said a preliminary investigation determined that the suspect was involved in a motor vehicle crash around noon in Walpole, N.H.

He carjacked the vehicle of the other driver involved in the crash, a silver Toyota Camry, State Police said. The suspect then allegedly fled in the Camry into Vermont and then down Route 91 South into Massachusetts.


State Police and local police located him driving the carjacked Camry and pursued him into New Salem, where he crashed the car and then attacked the trooper, State Police said.

“This is just another example of how on any given day a routine shift for a state trooper, and any police officer, can reverse 180 degrees and become anything but routine in a split second. The investigation will reveal all the facts and circumstances as to how this played out,” Procopio said.

The trooper, whose name was not released, was assigned to the Athol barracks. He has been on the force since 2006. He is married with children, State Police said.

The sound of screeching tires and gunshots startled residents of this located about 75 miles west of Boston.

“This is a really quiet town,” said Sharon Field, 61, who lives on Fay Road. “Nothing happens around here.”

Her husband, Hugh, 75, said he was at a neighbor’s house when he heard sirens and then a helicopter land.

When Sharon Field heard the sirens and helicopters, she at first thought it was the FBI. “I had no idea what was going on,” Field said. From her window, she saw a man taken from an ambulance and moved into a helicopter.

The couple said car crashes happen around their neighborhood from time to time, but what happened Friday afternoon was “extremely unusual,” Sharon Field said.

Globe correspondent Katie Camero and Martin Finucane of the Globe Staff contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.