UPDATE: Man shot himself after stop in Greenfield
GREENFIELD — A Massachusetts man is listed in critical condition at UMass Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., after he shot himself in the head when police attempted to stop his pickup truck near Greenvale Cemetery on Route 31 on March 4.
According to N.H. State Police, Thomas Regan, 46, of Ashby, Mass., “used a firearm to cause a self-inflicted gunshot wound” after police from the Greenfield, Lyndeborough and Francestown departments attempted to stop his truck.
Regan was treated by rescue workers from the Greenfield Fire Department and Peterborough Fire and Rescue. He was flown by a DHART helicopter from a landing site at Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center to UMass Medical.
Greenfield Police Chief Brian Giamarrino, who declined to comment about the incident last week while it was being investigated by state police, offered some details on Monday.
Giammarino said area police forces were notified at about 11:50 a.m. to be on the lookout for a red Chevrolet pick-up truck with Massachusetts plates, driven by a man from Ashby.
“We were told he was known to be carrying a weapon,” Giammarino said. “We knew he was planning to use the firearm in one way or another.”
Giammarino said Lt. Rance Deware, the officer in charge of the Lyndeborough Police Department, notified him at about 12:13 p.m. that the truck had been spotted on Route 31, heading toward Greenfield, and that Deware was following it.
“I knew we did not want to let the vehicle get to the center of Greenfield,” Giammarino said. He blocked one lane of Route 31 with a Greenfield cruiser and Francestown Police Chief Steve Bell, who had also responded to Greenfield, blocked the other lane with a Francestown cruiser.
“Steve Bell was right behind me,” Giammarino said. “We put cars in both lanes. We both had our blue lights on. As [Regan] approached, while he was in his truck he put a handgun to his right temple and pulled the trigger. At which point, the gas pedal stuck and it hit the Francestown vehicle.”
Giammarino said he and Bell were both outside their cruisers. Giammarino said he had drawn his pistol. After hitting the cruiser, Regan’s truck slid off the side of the road.
“I couldn’t see into it; it was up on an embankment,” Giammarino said. “There was a lot of smoke from his tires revving. I smashed the window, gained entry and saw the wound.”
Giammarino said rescue workers were called immediately and Regan was removed from the truck, taken by ambulance to Crotched Mountain Center, and airlifted to the hospital.
Because the accident involved local police and resulted in damage to a police vehicle, the investigation was turned over to N.H. State Police. Det. Thomas Forsley of State Police Troop B in Milford, who is the lead investigator on the case, released a brief statement about the incident on March 7. Forsley has not returned calls from the Ledger-Transcript seeking additional information and the Ledger-Transcript was unable to contact Ashby, Mass., police for comment on what prompted the bulletin to stop Regan’s vehicle.
Giammarino said Route 31 was closed for about an hour and a half. Traffic was rerouted on Zephyr Lake Road and East Road.
On Monday, a representative of UMass Medical Center confirmed that Regan was at the hospital, where he was listed in critical condition.
Dave Anderson can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s on Twitter at @DaveAndersonMLT.