Man shot by Nashua officer faces felony

NASHUA – Justin Contreras, who was hospitalized after Nashua police officer James Ciulla shot him last week, now faces criminal threatening charges for allegedly pointing a gun at Ciulla during the encounter.

According to Nashua Police Capt. James Testaverde, officers responded to the second floor of 106 Ledge St. on June 26 regarding a report of a suicidal man. Authorities allege that Contreras, 29, then pointed a gun at Ciulla during the incident. The officer then shot Contreras, Testaverde said.

Contreras received medical treatment at a local hospital before being transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital for his injury.

Testaverde said Nashua detectives then furthered the investigation, eventually determining they should obtain an arrest warrant for Contreras. Officers arrested him in Nashua late Monday during a motor vehicle stop, taking him into custody without incident.

Testaverde said criminal threatening is a felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison. He was released on $500 cash bail and is set for a July 12 arraignment at Hillsborough County Superior Court-South.

New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley previously said the exact circumstances surrounding the incident remain under investigation. He said Nashua officers Kyle Crosson and Guido Marchionda were also present at the time of the June 26 shooting, though he said neither of these officers discharged a firearm at the scene.

Hinckley said New Hampshire law requires his office to investigate whenever a state, county or municipal law enforcement officer uses force on a subject.

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.

City Editor Casey Junkins contributed to this report.