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Shooter who killed security officer at N.H. psychiatric hospital had been held there years earlier

Prosecutors dropped felony charges against John Madore in 2017 after he underwent a competency evaluation

A police officer in tactical gear on Friday walked past employees in the parking lot of New Hampshire Hospital, in Concord, N.H. A shooter killed one person Friday in the lobby of the psychiatric hospital and then was fatally shot by a state trooper, officials said.Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — The man who police say fatally shot an unarmed security officer on Friday at New Hampshire Hospital, a state-run psychiatric facility in Concord, had been involuntarily admitted at the facility in 2016 and had a record involving allegations of domestic violence and threatening behavior with guns, according to court records.

The records show a judge directed that John Madore be transported from the hospital to two hearings in 2017 in Strafford County Superior Court, where Madore had been charged a year earlier with felony assault and reckless conduct.

The records that were immediately available Monday morning offer a chronological summary of the case without detailing the circumstances of Madore’s arrest or detention. Court staff began releasing additional records Monday afternoon.


This photo provided by New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office shows John Madore, who police say fatally shot an unarmed security officer in the front lobby entrance of New Hampshire Hospital. (New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office via AP)Uncredited/Associated Press

The records indicate Madore underwent a competency evaluation that was filed with the court in September 2017. A month later, prosecutors dropped the charges against him.

One of the prosecutors in the Strafford County Attorney’s Office who worked on Madore’s 2016 case, Katelyn E. Henmueller, said the publicly available court records include a bail order from May 2016 that indicates Madore was to be held at the New Hampshire Hospital at that time.

Henmueller declined to comment on Madore’s case, his competency evaluation, or the reasons for the dismissal of charges.

The additional records released Monday afternoon show Madore had been charged with choking his mother and sister in a burst of domestic violence that erupted amid a family argument at their home in Strafford in January 2016.

“John was angry that they had to put down the family dog,” Strafford Police Chief Scott Young wrote in an affidavit about the incident.

Madore barricaded himself in his bedroom upstairs. He warned officers that he had firearms and “this was not going to end well,” but he surrendered peacefully after a SWAT team reported to the scene, according to the affidavit. Police reportedly found a 9mm handgun with a 15-round magazine and an assault-style rifle with a 30-round magazine on Madore’s bed.


A spokesperson for the New Hampshire Department of Justice and a representative for the Strafford Police Department did not immediately provide additional information Monday.

The fatal shooting in Concord on Friday comes after October’s mass shootings 120 miles away in Lewiston, Maine, prompted fresh discussions about whether New Hampshire’s gun laws adequately protect public safety, particularly in cases involving dire mental health concerns.

Police said on Saturday that Madore, 33, used a 9mm handgun to kill Bradley Haas, 63, an unarmed security officer for the New Hampshire Department of Safety who had previously served as chief of the Franklin Police Department.

Police found a U-Haul truck parked with its engine running in the hospital’s parking lot at the time of the attack. Inside the truck were an AR-style rifle, several magazines of ammunition, and a tactical vest, they said.

Officials said they did not know on Saturday whether Madore legally owned the pistol he used in the attack or the rifle found in the truck. They said they believe the truck belonged to Madore, though they did not have information on whether had rented the vehicle.

In New Hampshire, people don’t need to have a license to carry a concealed firearm, after state lawmakers amended the law in 2017 to eliminate that requirement, according to New Hampshire State Police.


Madore, who didn’t get past the hospital’s metal detectors, was fatally shot by a New Hampshire State Police trooper who had been at the hospital, police said. The trooper has not been publicly identified.

New Hampshire Attorney General John M. Formella said Madore was a transient who recently stayed at a hotel in the Seacoast area and spent time living in the Concord area.

Madore worked for about one month in summer 2019 as a peer support specialist at Riverbend Community Mental Health in Concord, according to Patricia McLaughlin, vice president of communications and marketing for the nonprofit behavioral health services organization. She said she could not comment on why he left, saying it is a personnel matter.

The existence of the court records was earlier reported by the New Hampshire Union Leader.

A vigil to honor Haas was held Monday at 4:30 p.m. at the soccer field at the corner of South Fruit and Clinton streets in Concord, and a remembrance for Haas was held Monday at 5:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge on South Main Street in Franklin.

This article has been updated with additional information from court records released Monday afternoon.

Steven Porter can be reached at Follow him @reporterporter. Nick Stoico can be reached at Follow him @NickStoico. Amanda Gokee can be reached at Follow her @amanda_gokee.