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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Female victim in Nashua weekend shooting disputes man’s claim that gun accidentally fired during cleaning

NASHUA – New details about a weekend shooting that left a woman in critical condition reveal that the victim told police she was shot twice, while the man who shot her said he was cleaning his gun when it accidentally fired, according to court documents released Monday.

Christopher Martini, 41, of 3 Balcom St., Apt. A, Nashua, was held on $25,000 cash or surety bail following his arraignment at Nashua district court. He was charged with first-degree assault, reckless conduct and criminal threatening, all of which are domestic violence-related and are felonies, according to court documents. ...

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NASHUA – New details about a weekend shooting that left a woman in critical condition reveal that the victim told police she was shot twice, while the man who shot her said he was cleaning his gun when it accidentally fired, according to court documents released Monday.

Christopher Martini, 41, of 3 Balcom St., Apt. A, Nashua, was held on $25,000 cash or surety bail following his arraignment at Nashua district court. He was charged with first-degree assault, reckless conduct and criminal threatening, all of which are domestic violence-related and are felonies, according to court documents.

Police were called to 101 1⁄2 Gilman St. shortly before 7:30 p.m. Saturday for a report of shots fired. Officers found Martini sitting on the front porch with blood on his hands. They also found a trail of blood spatter leading from an upstairs bedroom that led out the front door and to a basement residence. There they found the 32-year-old female victim who had been shot in the left arm and chest, according to court documents.

Martini was arrested about 20 minutes after police arrived and repeatedly said the shooting was an accident and asked if the woman was OK. While he was being arrested, Martini told police he had been cleaning his snub-nose .38 caliber handgun when it fired and struck the woman, according to court documents.

Detectives were able to briefly speak with the woman as she was brought by ambulance to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center and she said “He shot me.”

When the officer asked if it was accidental she shook her head.

At the hospital the woman indicated she had been shot twice, according to court records.

A doctor at the SNHMC emergency room told police the woman had injuries to the left side of her chest and left arm, but that it was possible one bullet caused both wounds. She was med-flighted to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., in critical condition, according to court documents.

There the woman told police the couple had been in a verbal argument and that Martini had held the gun to her head at one point and that the shooting was not an accident, according to court records.

Police found the .38 revolver on a counter in the kitchen, as well as a large amount of blood in the bedroom and then a trail of blood leading outside, into a side yard and then downstairs into a basement apartment where the woman’s parents live, according to court records.

During an initial interview with detectives, Martini repeated that he had been cleaning the gun. He said he was in the living room using a Q-tip to clean the gun and didn’t know the woman was in the room. The gun went off when she leaned over to kiss him, he told detectives according to court documents. He also said the gun went off when he was trying to unload it, according to court records.

When he was told police hadn’t found any blood in the living room Martini said he didn’t clearly remember what had happened. At the start of a second interview Martini asked for an attorney, according to court records.

The first-degree assault charge is a Class A felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison plus fines. The reckless conduct charge, which was filed as an alternate theory to the assault charge, and the criminal threatening charge are Class B felonies punishable by up to seven years in prison plus fines, according to court documents.

Martini will be in court again on Aug. 28 for a probable cause hearing, according to court documents.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Cote on Twitter (@Telegraph_JoeC).