A Belmont police officer was justified in shooting a man who held a gun up to his own head at a gas station in town, the state attorney general’s office announced Tuesday.
Belmont Cpl. Evan Boulanger fired twice at Joseph Mazzitelli Jr., 46, of Belmont, after Mazzitelli grabbed a gun out of his car at a crowded gas station on Plummer Hill Road on the afternoon of Sept. 30. The state medical examiner concluded the fatal shot was fired from Mazzitelli’s own handgun.
Both men fired their weapons "simultaneously,” Assistant Attorney General John Kennedy said during a news conference Tuesday morning in Belmont. Boulanger did not realize at first that Mazzitelli had also shot himself, Kennedy said.
Toxicology tests revealed Mazzitelli had high levels of methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death, according to the attorney general’s 24-page report.
Boulanger had attempted to arrest Mazzitelli that afternoon on a Belmont Police Department warrant, charging him with harassment. Police allege Mazzitelli had previously fired a gun outside of the home of a man who was dating Mazzitelli’s ex-girlfriend. Because no one witnessed Mazzitelli firing the gun outside of the home, Boulanger told investigators, the department had brought only the harassment charge.
Boulanger was placed on administrative leave following the shooting. He was scheduled to return to duty Tuesday afternoon.
Mazzitelli had a criminal record that included convictions for criminal trespass, criminal mischief, drunken driving and other motor vehicle infractions. He also had a history of domestic violence with two different women requesting restraining orders against him since the late 1990s.
Most recently, Mazzitelli was accused of sexually assaulting a 23-year-old woman while the two were out for a ride on his motorcycle in Gilmanton this past summer. He was indicted by a Belknap County grand jury in September on one count of aggravated felonious sexual assault, as well as on three counts each of sexual assault and simple assault. He was out of jail on bail conditions at the time of the officer-involved shooting.
(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)...Read more