- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A dashboard camera video released Friday shows two police officers fatally shooting a knife-wielding man as he ran toward them along a rural road in July, then firing several more times after he fell at their feet.

The videos, released by the New Hampshire attorney general’s office, show Hagan Esty-Lennon, 42, of Canterbury walking toward officers in a shirt stained with blood from a self-inflicted knife wound and ignoring repeated commands to drop the knife. He begins to walk away as the officers give chase, guns raised and shouting for him to stop and drop the knife.

“Drop the knife or I shoot,” yells Haverhill Officer Ryan Jarvis. Esty-Lennon stops, wheels around and runs toward Jarvis and Officer Greg Collins.

As Esty-Lennon nears the officers, it appears as if he begins to stumble before shots are fired. He then falls to the road and more shots are fired.

The July 6 encounter began when Haverhill police responded to neighboring Bath after a report of a man - Esty-Lennon - injured in a car accident who resisted bystanders’ efforts to help.

A superior court judge ordered the videos from the officers’ body cameras to be edited so they didn’t show the moment of death and close-ups of Esty-Lennon’s motionless body on the ground. But a police cruiser dashboard camera shows from a distance the shooting as it unfolded.

Prosecutors deemed the shooting justified, saying Esty-Lennon lunged at the officers.

Haverhill Sgt. Wallace Trott, also wearing a body camera, arrives and takes control of the scene moments after the shooting. He speaks first with Collins, who appears distraught. When Trott asks him if he’s OK, Collins replies, “Physically, yes.”

Collins tells him they both fired at Esty-Lennon. “Ryan first, then me.” He tells Trott he believes both of them shot Esty-Lennon “because we were within 5 feet of him.”

“I saw one entry wound behind his ear,” Collins says. “I would have to guess the direction of the entry wound would have been mine.”

Collins confirms for Trott that his body camera is still running. “That’s good,” Trott replies.

Esty-Lennon’s ex-wife fought unsuccessfully to postpone release of the videos, saying they would be harmful for Esty-Lennon’s children, ages 7 and 9. Media outlets argued that the videos should be released so the public could decide if police acted appropriately when they shot Esty-Lennon. The state attorney general’s office, the town of Haverhill and its police department also wanted the videos released.

The lawyer for Esty-Lennon’s ex-wife made a second appeal to the state Supreme Court on Friday to postpone release of the videos and a separate audio file, but the court denied her emergency motion.

“I’m disappointed, but more importantly, I’m sad for my client, who was devastated by this,” said Diane Puckhaber.

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