Reports: Man shot by police said, ‘just wanted you guys to kill me’

29-year-old allegedly brandished empty handgun, refused to drop firearm

Staff file photo by Dean Shalhoup A Nashua police officer documents evidence that detectives removed in bags and other containers from 106 Ledge St. on June 27, the morning after resident Justin Contreras was shot after allegedly pointing a gun at police. Contreras was later arrested for criminal threatening and is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.

NASHUA – Justin Contreras, the 29-year-old Nashua man shot by police June 26, allegedly told police he raised his gun in hopes officers would kill him.

On July 2, after Contreras got out of the hospital, authorities arrested him on a charge of criminal threatening. He was released on bail, and is now scheduled to be arraigned in Hillsborough County Superior Court-South at 1 p.m. Thursday on the Class B felony charge.

According to police reports and court documents, officer James Ciulla was one of several officers who responded to 106 Ledge St. around 10 p.m. June 26 for a report of a suicidal person. Reports assert Ciulla shot Contreras after Contreras, who was armed with a handgun of his own, allegedly refused Ciulla’s commands to “drop the gun” when they met in a hallway in the residence.

Another officer, who was outside the building, reported he heard Ciulla shout “drop the gun” at least twice. Seconds later, the additional officer “heard two-three shots,” the reports state.

Contreras had reportedly exited his second-floor apartment and was heading down the stairs when confronted by Ciulla, who then shouted the commands.

Contreras allegedly raised the firearm and pointed it toward Ciulla, who said he heard Contreras say “something to the effect of, ‘I don’t want to live anymore,'” and referred to relationship problems he was having.

The shots dropped Contreras, and drew other officers to the stairway, where they administered first aid and called for an ambulance.

Contreras was conscious, and, according to police, said “he was sorry,” and that he “just wanted you guys to kill me.”

Ambulance personnel transported Contreras to a local hospital, from which he was later flown by medical helicopter to a Boston hospital. It’s not clear when he was discharged, but he was back in Nashua by 8 p.m. July 2 – the time he was arrested on the criminal threatening charge.

Police said they took Contreras into custody after stopping a vehicle in which he was a passenger, shortly after it left 106 Ledge St.

The events that led up to the shooting the night of June 26 began when Hudson police received a 911 call from members of Contreras’s family, who live in Hudson.

They said was at their home earlier in the day “making statements regarding committing suicide due to a breakup with his girlfriend,” police reports state.

He allegedly threatened to kill himself with a knife, then punched a hole in the wall, the family members told police.

They said Contreras later left, possibly headed to 106 Ledge St. Family members expressed their concerns to police about his emotional condition and the fact he had “access to a gun” at that location.

When Nashua police responded to the Ledge Street residence, they found Contreras’s vehicle in the driveway, and began calling out to him, asking him to come out of the house.

At one point, officer Guido Marchionda spotted him in an upstairs window. After Marchionda illuminated Contreras with a flashlight and asked him to come down, “Justin disappeared from view,” the reports state.

Moments later, Marchionda heard Ciullo’s commands to “drop the gun,” followed by the sound of gunshots, according to the reports.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.

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