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Officer once gave first aid to his accused killer

October 20, 2006

MANCHESTER, N.H. � Police officer Michael Briggs once helped save the man accused of killing him.

In March 2003, Briggs responded to a shooting at a Manchester apartment. The victim was Michael Addison, who was shot in the collarbone, police said. Briggs was the first officer on the scene; he started giving first aid to Addison.

"I guess you could say it's ironic that in Michael Addison's time of need, it was Michael Briggs who responded," Sgt. Nick Willard of the Manchester Police Department told WMUR-TV on Thursday. "I think him treating Michael Addison for a gunshot wound back in 2003 is a testament to what Michael has done since the day he became a police officer � indiscriminately helping others."

Addison, 26, of Manchester, is charged with capital murder in the shooting death of Briggs, 35, who died Tuesday. Addison was arrested in Boston on Monday and remains jailed there on $2 million bail while he fights his return to New Hampshire, where he could be sentenced to death if convicted.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin said it could take up to 60 days to extradite Addison.

"It just takes as long as it takes" Strelzin said Thursday, noting everything could change if Addison decides to waive extradition. Addison's next Boston court date is Nov. 10.

The attorney general's office on Wednesday upgraded charges against Addison from attempted murder to capital murder after autopsy results confirmed that Briggs, gunned down in an inner city alley early Monday, died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

Authorities say Briggs was shot 15 minutes before the end of his shift, when he and a fellow bicycle patrol officer responded to a domestic violence call involving a gunshot. Briggs' gun never left his holster, but prosecutors say two other officers shot back, as the gunman escaped.

New Hampshire's death penalty law applies only in limited circumstances, including killing a police officer.

Briggs, a married father of two sons, died at a Manchester hospital. A funeral is planned for Saturday at the stadium that's home to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the minor league baseball team Briggs often took his sons to watch.

"He tried to spend as much time as he could with us," Briggs' 8-year-old son, Mitchell, told WMUR-TV. "Even if he had a second left, he'd spend it with us."

Since the shooting, mourners have left bouquets of flowers and signed a guest book near the scene and at other makeshift memorials in a yard nearby and at the police station.

Strelzin said three other police officers were at the scene early Monday when Briggs was fatally wounded. The names of the others and details such as how many shots were fired and by whom have not yet been released.

A neighborhood resident, Jonathan Johnson, 26, said he saw police re-enacting the shooting several hours later. Johnson told the New Hampshire Union Leader he saw one officer grab another by the shoulder, who then spun around and mimicked shooting the officer.

Strelzin declined to confirm that account or whether Addison, a suspect in a rash of violent crimes during the preceding week, was involved in the domestic dispute that drew officers to the area.

Two women allegedly involved in the crime spree were arraigned Wednesday in Nashua District Court on charges stemming from the robbery of a Hudson convenience store last week.

According to court records in Manchester and Nashua, Angela Swist, 28, and Teresia Shipley, 26, rode along with Addison and Antoine Bell-Rogers during the robbery and split the money with the men. They also rode along when the men fired shots at a Manchester apartment building early Sunday morning, court documents said.

Bell-Rogers was with Addison when Briggs was shot, police say, but investigators have declined to say whether the dispute Briggs responded to involved one of the women.


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This is a truly tragic event. But there's more to it. 1

Christopher King View latest post

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