The 45-year-old woman who died Monday in Manchester following a chaotic police chase was killed by a decorated state trooper with eight years of service who has taken part in two other officer-involved shootings in the past three years, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the incident.
Though state officials have yet to publicly identify the shooter, others have confirmed it was Trooper Chad Lavoie of Troop B who opened fire on Wendy Lawrence shortly before 7 p.m.
Lawrence, who had been on the run after fleeing the scene of a traffic stop on Interstate 89 in Bow, was transported to a nearby hospital and was later pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed she had been struck four times, including once fatally in the chest.
Lavoie was one of five officers who shot and killed an armed suspect in Pelham on Oct. 22, 2011. The 21-year-old victim in that case had been on the run from Massachusetts, where he was wanted for physical assault, according to a state investigation into the incident. After being rammed by a police cruiser on Hobbs Road, the suspect exited his vehicle, held a handgun to his head and began pleading with several officers to shoot him. They told him to put the weapon down. He refused.
Lavoie and the other officers opened fire on the man after he turned the gun on some of them and began approaching, the investigation found. Lavoie later told authorities he thought he’d shot at the suspect five or six times.
The attorney general’s office concluded in a report later that year that the officers’ actions had been justified, stating they “reasonably believed that they or others were in danger of death or serious bodily injury.”