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Cullen Mutrie in a police mug shot.
Sunday, April 15, 2012

Autopsy shows Greenland gunman died by suicide, companion by homicide

The man accused of shooting five police officers and killing one Thursday in Greenland died by his own hand, according to an autopsy conducted by the state medical examiner. But the woman found dead at his side was killed in a homicide.

Cullen Mutrie, the Greenland man accused of killing Police Chief Michael Maloney last week, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, medical examiner Thomas Andrew determined through the autopsy. Brittany Tibbetts, who was found dead inside the same Post Road home, died in a similar fashion, concluded deputy examiner Jennie Duval. But her death was deemed a murder.

Authorities found both bodies Friday morning in Mutrie’s home at 517 Post Road after an eight-hour standoff in which Mutrie shot Maloney and the four other officers.

The incident began when the officers arrived at about 6 p.m. Thursday to serve a warrant in a drug case. When the officers arrived, Mutrie, 29, a former Hampton firefighter whom acquaintances said had fallen into a drug problem, opened fire, killing Maloney and striking four other officers.

The standoff ended eight hours later, when a police robot found Mutrie and Tibbetts dead in the home.

According to the Portsmouth Herald, Mutrie and Tibbetts were a couple. Tibbetts’ mother told the paper that her daughter had left Mutrie several weeks ago out of concern for her safety, but she returned to his side several days before the shooting.

Tibbetts was a graduate and standout softball player of Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine.

Mutrie, who suffered a bullet wound to his arm during the standoff, previously had been charged with possession of steroids, according to the Portsmouth Herald.

Now, three days after the incident, two of the four injured officers remain hospitalized, according to media reports.

Funeral arrangements for Maloney, the police chief, have been set for later this week.

Calling hours will be held 5-9 p.m. Thursday at the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home in Hampton, according to the Greenland Police Department. A memorial service will take place the next day at the athletic field at Winnacunnett High School in Hampton.

Town residents John and Caren Chick called Maloney a great person, saying his loss will hit Greenland hard.

“He was young. He probably had lots of plans for his retirement,” Caren Chick said of the chief.

“I think we’ll be in shock a while,” she said. “Stuff doesn’t happen in a small town. Not in our small town.”