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Man remains at large after fatal Manchester shooting

Union Leader staff
and Attorney General's Office

September 07. 2018 5:10PM
Lincoln Street in Manchester is blocked by police tape Friday morning as police investigate a shooting at 367 Hanover St., on the corner of Lincoln Street. (TODD FEATHERS/UNION LEADER)

Paul Dimick (Attorney General's office)

MANCHESTER — A city man suspected of fatally shooting another Manchester resident is at large and a murder arrest warrant has been issued for him after a shooting Friday followed by an hours-long standoff that led to Manchester High School Central being locked down.

Manchester Police Chief Carlo Capano and Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announced Friday night that a murder arrest warrant had been issued and they asked for the public’s help to find 26-year-old Paul Dimick, whom they accuse of fatally shooting Justin Lee, 32, on Friday.

Capano said Dimick was seen entering a Maple Street building after he had shot Lee, who later died from his injuries.

“He is considered armed and dangerous,” said Assistant Attorney General John Kennedy of Dimick as authorities released two photographs of the wanted man.

Dimick is a white male, 5-foot-6, with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with any information about the whereabouts of Dimick should contact Det. Michael Lavallee at (603) 792-5514, Det. Sgt. Christopher Biron at (603) 792-5545, of the Manchester Police Department.

Persons with information can also call the Manchester Police Department main line at (603) 668-8711, Kennedy said.

Manchester police officers found Lee suffering from a gunshot wound in the area of 357 Hanover Street just before 11 a.m. Friday.

Lee was transported to Elliot Hospital where he later died.

An autopsy is scheduled for today at 1 p.m.

Capano said SWAT teams swarmed onto 342 and 445 Maple St. and searched a total of seven apartments with attics and basements.

Some of the windows had a direct line of sight with nearby Manchester High School Central and Capano said this was why they decided to have all 1,200 students stay in place in the school and only evacuated by bus to Hillside School just before 7:30 p.m.

“We felt it was the safest option to keep them at that school,” Capano said.

Capano thanked the students, parents and staff for their patience.

“I do want to say I understand this was an inconvenience to the students and families but I can’t really apologize for that because I would do it again if I had to,” Capano said. “We felt it was necessary and had to make sure that area was locked down and everyone was safe.”

Capano later said he was certain Dimick had gone into those apartments and somehow at a later point exited and remained at large.

“We had eyes on him entering that building,” Capano said.

“Paul, we know that you’re inside. We’re not going to hurt you,” a police negotiator could be heard saying through a bullhorn.

Several people could also be seen exiting the apartment building under police supervision.

The city’s SWAT team began searching in the area of 332 Hanover St. near Lincoln Street for the shooter and several blocks were taped off as traffic on Hanover Street was rerouted.

The standoff and search, which centered around a red and white apartment building at the corner Hanover and Maple streets, went on into the evening.

A Manchester SWAT team heads west on Hanover Street, away from the scene of a reported shooting Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)

Around 5:45 p.m., loud bangs like percussion grenades could be heard going off. A SWAT team shielded by an armored truck slowly drove across the face of the red and white apartment building.

A short time later, a half-dozen gunshots could be heard, followed by a lull, the sound of glass breaking, and then several more gunshots.

Meanwhile, a group of around 40 people gathered at the crime scene line, and across it. They sat on porches, joked, ate snacks, and commented on police tactics.

Every so often, SWAT officers could be seen running in between houses on Hanover Street.

Central High School, located just a few blocks away, was not locked down at first, but by afternoon had been. Students weren’t being allowed to leave the school until after 7:30 p.m.

“We have been instructed by the Manchester Police Department that we need to remain,” said Principal John Vaccarezza Friday afternoon. “We are not dismissing at this time.”

The Manchester School District posted a notice from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bolgen Vargas on its Facebook page regarding Manchester High School Central:

“Dear Parents, Guardians and Members of the Central Community,

“As you know the Manchester Police Department advised Central enter a “Secure Campus” status due to police activity in the area. This police activity continues and Central High School remains in a “Secure Campus.” At this time the district is preparing to provide sandwiches, snacks and water to all students and staff who remain in the building. This is an unfortunate situation but the safety of students and staff must come first. As soon as the Manchester Police Department advises us of changing conditions allowing us to change the current status we will inform you about the next steps to be taken to dismiss students in a safe and orderly manner.”

Some parents of Central High School students felt the situation could have been handled better as their children were inside school walls upwards of 12 hours.

“Essentially they are being held hostage over there,” said Michael Bernard, whose son is a sophomore at Central. “There should be some type of evacuation plan.There should be an opportunity to get them out of there sooner.”

At 7:44 p.m. the Manchester Police Department issued a release stating students would begin to be ushered out of the school.

“We are now confident in our ability to safely transport everyone from the school based on intelligence gathered from our SWAT team,” the release stated. “At this time we are in the process of evacuating the students and faculty from the school. We are working with the Manchester School District and a plan is in place to safely load the students on the buses. Multiple Buses will transport the kids to Hillside, so parents are encouraged to pick up your loved one at that location.”

All Central High School athletic events scheduled for Friday were postponed, including the football team’s game against Keene High School, which was scheduled to be played at Gill Stadium at 7 p.m.

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig thanked the patience of everyone as Craig’s youngest child, Kathryn, is in her first year at Central High School.

“I want to thank the men and women in the Manchester Police Department who worked throughout the day to ensure the safety of our community. I’d also like to thank the teachers, administrators, staff and students at Manchester Central High School for your patience during this long afternoon and evening,” Craig said in a statement.

“To the parents of CHS students and residents of the Manchester community, thank you for your understanding. I know I’ll be hugging my CHS freshman a little tighter tonight, as I’m sure hundreds of other parents will be as well.” 

Public Safety Crime High schools Manchester

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