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NH Police Officer Shot, Killed Before Home Explosion

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BRENTWOOD, N.H. (CBS/AP) — A New Hampshire police officer was shot to death after he responded to a domestic disturbance at a home that later exploded and burned, authorities said Monday.

The shooting and explosion happened in a suburban duplex home in a 55-and-up community on Mill Pond Road in Brentwood shortly after 4 p.m. Police were called to the home after a domestic dispute.

New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster said late Monday night 48-year-old Brentwood Police Officer Steven Arkell was shot to death when he answered the call. Foster said Michael Nolan, 47, the son of the homeowner, is the suspected gunman. He is presumed dead.

Watch Police News Conference

After the blaze started around 4 p.m., firefighters were kept away from the scene. Within minutes of the explosion, the house was engulfed in flames as black smoke billowed over the neighborhood.

Watch: Aerial Video Of Home Explosion

After firefighters started attacking the blaze around 6 p.m., the fire was largely knocked down about a half hour later and it didn’t appear to have spread to neighboring houses.

WBZ-TV’s Bobby Sisk reports

Public records indicate the house was owned by 86-year-old Walter Nolan. A neighbor told the Portsmouth Press Herald that she saw Walter Nolan being taken from the scene by ambulance before she was evacuated from the area.

Arkell was a 15-year veteran of the Brentwood, New Hampshire police department and a father of two teenaged girls.

New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan issued the following statement and directed flags to half-staff in honor of fallen Brentwood Officer Steve Arkell:

“The entire State of New Hampshire is in mourning over the tragic loss of Brentwood Officer Steve Arkell. Officer Arkell bravely answered the call of duty and made the ultimate sacrifice, a heroic demonstration of his commitment to the safety of his fellow citizens. Like so many of our first responders do on a daily basis, Officer Arkell courageously put his life on the line to protect others, and in doing so, was tragically taken far too soon.

“It is now the responsibility of all Granite Staters to honor Officer Arkell’s sacrifice by coming together and doing everything that we can to support those he has left behind. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones, as well as everyone in Brentwood and the surrounding communities affected by this horrific tragedy.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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