AG closes Chesterfield shooting case: Shooter is now dead
CHESTERFIELD - The Attorney General's Office has closed its investigation into a shooting death on North Hinsdale Road two years ago.
Based on the investigation, on April 14, 2012, "it is clear that Douglas Farr shot and killed victim Mark McAuley. There are no other suspects in the case, and today no other person is being sought in connection with the homicide of McAuley," according to the final report released by Attorney General Joseph A. Foster and N.H. State Police Col. Robert L. Quinn Thursday.
Whether or not Farr shot McAuley in self-defense, as he claimed, or not remains undermined, since Farr died in a car crash in 2013, assistant attorney general Peter Hinckley said Thursday.
"The only thing that we were able to establish conclusively is that Farr shot and killed the victim," Hinckley said.
Investigators carried on the investigation long after the May 2013 car crash because they wanted to provide the victim's family with as many answers as possible, Hinckley said.
Investigators have concluded that there was no other shooter and no other witnesses in the shooting.
In the report, the Attorney General's Office did release more details about the investigation.
According to the report, around 1 p.m. April 14, 2012, Hinsdale police received a call from Farr's mother, Monica Burdette, who reported she could not find her son, and that he was "upset," so police searched for him.
Then just before 2:30 p.m. that day, Chesterfield police went to North Hinsdale Road in response to a 911 call. The cellular reception of the location the call was coming from was "spotty,? and the 911 call was lost. The information gathered before the call was cut off, though, was that a man had been shot."
Based on the call, a Chesterfield police officer went to the area of North Hinsdale Road and found Farr, his mother and Farr's fiancée, Erin Brault, in a vehicle.
Burdette and Brault said they found Farr on North Hinsdale Road. He had a gunshot wound to his shoulder, was crying and was visibly upset, according to the report.
Farr told police, "there was another guy in the woods," who Farr had shot and killed.
"The suspect also provided a more specific location of the dead man's whereabouts. A .40-caliber pistol and a loaded magazine were inside the automobile with the suspect. That weapon belonged to the suspect," the report said. "Officers went to the area described by the suspect, a wooded area with no nearby residences by a little-used dirt road, and there found the body of the victim, Mark McAuley. The victim had multiple apparent gunshot wounds. The autopsy revealed that the victim had been shot six times. The cause of the victim's death was multiple gunshot wounds, and the manner of death was ruled by the medical examiner to be a homicide."
Farr was hospitalized with a gunshot wound. McAuley was 39 years old, Farr was 30 years old, and both were Hinsdale residents.
Farr was the focus of the investigation, the report said. ?Although the suspect admitted to shooting the victim, the suspect provided an account of events that, although implausible, warranted further investigation as to the validity of his claim of self-defense.
An arrest was never made. Given the lack of apparent eyewitnesses to the shooting incident and the events that precipitated and motivated it, further investigation occurred to develop the connection and relationship between the suspect and victim, to establish how and why they came to be in the area of North Hinsdale Road where the shooting incident occurred, and to locate any initially unknown material witnesses, the report said.
In May 2013, Farr, then 32, and Erin Breault, 35, also of Hinsdale, died in a fiery crash on Route 12 in Keene. The medical examiner's office ruled the deaths an accident and the cause to be multiple blunt force trauma injuries.
Without the suspect and his fiancée, who was a material witness, investigators continued to follow up on the case trying to determine what happened between Farr and McAuley, to verify there were no other material witnesses to what happened between the two and that there was no one else present when Farr shot and killed McAuley.
Those efforts recently concluded and without any other leads it was decided to close the case, Hinckley said.