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Two dead after shooting on Lake Avenue in Manchester

New Hampshire Union Leader

November 25. 2013 12:44AM
Manchester police work the scene of a shooting on Lake Ave. in Manchester Sunday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER - A Manchester man, charged with falsifying evidence for allegedly ditching a gun after a double homicide on Lake Avenue Sunday afternoon, told a childhood friend he shot a man who came at him with a knife and he feared he shot his own brother as well, according to court papers.

Only last month, David Hans Hoffens, 21, of 331 Lake Ave., was in 9th Circuit Court, Manchester District Division, pleading guilty to threatening to kill his brother Edgar Hoffens, 22, of the same address telling him, "I'll slit your throat."

Edgar "Eddie" Hoffens was found dead at the base of the stairs leading to the brothers' Lake Avenue apartment on Sunday just before 4 p.m. according to court documents. Records do not indicate how he died, but David Hans Hoffens told his childhood friend Eric Woodard that he was afraid he shot him.

Hoffens, saying he was scared and panicked, admitted to an officer that he shot another man, Charles Cable, 20, who was found lying face down in a pool of blood on the concrete walkway outside the building. He was shot in the left side of the head.

Cable, who had a faint pulse and whose chest was rising, was transported to Elliot Hospital where authorities said he died Monday morning.

David Hoffens repeatedly told investigators he "didn't mean to do it."

Complicating the case is that his mother's boyfriend, Dan Morgan, claimed he was the one who shot Eddie, while pointing at Cable, and that David Hoffens shot Cable, according to court records.

Authorities have not charged anyone in the shootings.

David Hoffens also told Woodard that "the guys" pulled a knife on him and he shot the guy.

Autopsies on both Hoffens and Cable are not expected to be complete until late Tuesday, according to New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph A. Foster and Police Chief David J. Mara.

Police went to 331 Lake Ave. Sunday afternoon after receiving reports of shots fired. According to a sworn affidavit by Detective Patrick Houghton, when Officer Derek Feather arrived, a woman pointed up the walkway and said, "He is over here." That's when Feather found Cable. Then he heard someone say, "There is another one over here," and he found Edgar Hoffens.

Cynthia Hoffens, the Hoffens brothers' mother, called David on a cell phone and, when he answered, Officer Joe Ryan said he could hear a male voice that sounded hysterical. He asked to speak to David, and Cynthia Hoffens handed him her cell phone. David told the officer he was scared and panicked, that he had shot Charlie but that he didn't mean to do it.

Woodard, a childhood friend of David Hoffens, told police he called Edgar's cell phone and his girlfriend Jen Russell answered. She was crying so much she could not speak, Woodard said. Woodard said he then got a phone call from David who told him "the guys" pulled a knife on him and "he shot the guy and was afraid that he also shot his brother Edgar," according to Houghton's affidavit.

Detectives located David Hans Hoffens at Kay's Bakery and he was taken into custody and brought to the police station. He admitted he fled the area after the shooting, running down alleyways to avoid detection. He told Houghton he threw away his sweatshirt to avoid being recognized and tossed the gun and holster as well. Police recovered the holster and sweatshirt.

When he pleaded guilty last month to threatening to kill his brother, he also pleaded guilty to obstructing the report of a crime accusing him of pulling the phone lines out of the wall of a computer when his brother tried to call police.

He was fined $200, given a six-month suspended sentence and ordered to obtain an anger management evaluation and follow any of its recommendations. He was given 45 days to obtain the evaluation and file it with the court.  As of Monday, the court had not received the evaluation.

Cable also had a criminal case pending in Circuit Court. Cable, 20, of 178 Central St., Apt. 6, was to be tried Jan. 8 on two counts of simple assault involving his girlfriend and her mother.

On Oct. 13, he allegedly shoved Kristen Chase, 43, causing her to fall and strike her face on a door frame. He also is accused of grabbing Krystara Bergeron, 19, by the neck and punching her in the face. Cable is the father of Bergeron's child.

According to court records, an argument between Cable and Bergeron woke Chase about 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 13. She went to check on them and heard Bergeron say Cable punched her.

She went into the bedroom and she and Cable began to argue. He shoved her into her bedroom, causing her to hit her face on the door frame. Bergeron told police Cable grabbed her by the throat with his left hand and punched her in the face with his right hand.


Previous story follows:

MANCHESTER— Police are investigating a fatal shooting on Lake Avenue that left one man dead and another critically injured Sunday.

In an early morning press release Monday, state Attorney General Joseph Foster and Manchester Police Chief David Mara said the incident included one death.

According to the release, police went to 331 Lake Ave. Sunday afternoon for reports of shots fired, and found one man dead outside the home, having suffered what appeared to be a gunshot wound.

A second man was found nearby, also shot. He was transported to Elliot Hospital and was in critical condition late Sunday night.

Neither man was identified.

Another man, David Hoffens, 21, of 331 Lake Ave., Manchester, is under arrest, according to Manchester police Lt. Maureen Tessier. Documents in 9th Circuit Court, Manchester District Division, where Hoffens was arraigned this morning, indicate he is charged with a felony of falsifying physical evidence, and the complaint alleges he did destroy, conceal or remove his firearm with the purpose to impair its "verity or availability" in the investigation into the shooting.

At his arraingment, Hoffen's bail was set at $25,000 cash/surety with a probable cause hearing scheduled for Dec. 5.

The release said police believe they have identified all of the parties involved in the incident, but ask that anyone with information or who was in the area of 331 Lake Ave., about 3:40 Sunday afternoon to call 668-8711.

Earlier Sunday evening, Manchester Lt. Todd Boucher said, "We are investigating a shooting that occurred along Lake Avenue around 4 p.m. today."

Manchester District Fire Chief Michael Gamache confirmed that emergency crews were dispatched to 331 Lake Ave., where they treated two individuals for gunshot wounds, transporting both to Elliot Hospital.

"They were in serious condition," said Gamache.

Late Sunday night, Boucher refused to say if anyone was in custody for the shootings.

"There is no need for the public to feel at risk related to this incident," he said.

Neighbors said shots were fired about 4 p.m., with one neighbor saying they thought two people had been shot at the multi-family building at 331 Lake Ave. Some residents said they were startled to hear shots fired in their neighborhood.

"I was home this afternoon and a piece of siding came loose and was banging against the building when I went out to get a look at it," said resident Sean Hale. "That's when I heard there was a shooting."

The building where the shooting happened is between Lake Avenue and Litchfield Lane.

"I was kind of surprised someone would be shot here," said neighbor John Mitchell, who said he could recall no problems involving the residents of the house.

Neighbors said the residence was "a couple of doors down" from the spot were Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs was murdered in 2006.

At 5 p.m. Sunday, police had blocked off Lake Avenue and Litchfield Lane, which runs parallel to Lake Avenue, from Lincoln to Maple streets. A K9 officer could be seen searching yards and areas behind homes along Litchfield Lane.

By 7:10 p.m., all of Litchfield Lane was reopened to vehicular traffic, though Lake Avenue remained blocked off by police cruisers at the intersections with Lincoln and Maple streets.

A representative from the Attorney General's Office arrived at Manchester police headquarters at 6:25 p.m. and was buzzed into the back area.

Paul Feely and Bill Smith contributed to this story.

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