By Associated Press - Tuesday, April 6, 2021

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A police officer who fatally shot a New Hampshire man who advanced toward him with three knives was legally justified in his use of deadly force, the state attorney general’s office said Tuesday.

Meredith Police Officer Kevin O’Reilly fired twice at David Donovan, 35, outside an apartment complex on Nov. 15. No criminal charges will be filed, Senior Assistant Attorney General Geoffrey Ward said at a news conference.

Donovan, who was staying with a friend at an apartment complex, got into a confrontation with his mother and her boyfriend, according to accounts from witnesses and video from a ringing doorbell camera. He stabbed his mother once and her boyfriend multiple times, before two officers arrived.

The officers had had interactions with Donovan before, describing him as agreeable and rarely combative, but his behavior was “drastically different” that night, Ward said. Donovan’s mother told police that her son took methamphetamines and that that his usage had increased.

The officers saw that Donovan had at least one knife and told him multiple times to drop it, but he didn’t do so, Ward said. One officer fired a stun-gun device, but it didn’t impair Donovan. He moved closer to O’Reilly, the other officer, whose shots hit him in the arm and abdomen. Donovan died at a hospital.

An autopsy showed that Donovan’s blood-alcohol level was .16, twice the legal limit, and that he had methamphetamines and amphetamines in his system.

Donovan‘s mother, Dawna Donovan Schaub, said she had been trying to help her son overcome his drug use and started a petition to help make it easier to get people into rehabilitation centers. She said her son didn’t need to be killed.

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