- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office is delaying the public release of police body camera videos showing a man’s fatal shooting by officers after his family petitioned Wednesday to block its release.

An attorney for Hagan Esty-Lennon’s ex-wife and children petitioned Merrimack County Superior Court to halt public release of the videos. Attorney Peter McGrath noted Esty-Lennon’s two minor children and described the videos as “very graphic, violent, bloody and upsetting.”

The videos were shown to Esty-Lennon’s family on Monday and Tuesday and were to be publicly released Wednesday. But Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said the videos would not be released until the court resolves the issue. A hearing had not been scheduled by late afternoon.

The attorney general’s office last week cleared Haverhill officers Ryan Jarvis and Greg Collins of any wrongdoing. Morrell said the officers were justified in using deadly force on July 6 in Bath because Esty-Lennon lunged at them with a knife moments before he was shot.

Before his encounter with police, the 42-year-old Canterbury man was involved in a car accident and was suffering from a self-inflicted knife wound to the chest when he left the scene of the accident, the attorney general’s office reported. Bystanders summoned police to assist him.

An autopsy confirmed the self-inflicted knife wound and toxicology tests showed Esty-Lennon had elevated levels of an amphetamine and an anti-anxiety drug in his system. Investigators say Esty-Lennon’s landlady told them he seemed to be suffering from hallucinations in the weeks before the shooting.

“The possibility that Esty-Lennon was mentally ill and potentially wanted to harm himself or commit suicide may explain why he pulled a knife on the officers, refused to drop it and then advanced on them even after they had drawn their weapons and ordered him to drop the knife,” the report states.

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