Greenland remembers Mike Maloney, police chief killed in line of duty
GREENLAND - Lenore Miller remembers the last time she saw her friend Mike Maloney.
"I saw Mike standing in the driveway - and the sunset was behind him, and he looked like a giant of a man. Then after that, everything changed," Miller said.
Miller saw the 48-year-old doing what he loved, in uniform, as the town's Chief of Police.
She didn't know that just minutes later, her friend - who had served the town for more than a decade - would be shot and killed by a suspect during a drug raid at a home right next to hers.
"Mike was funny - and he wore shorts whenever he could," Miller said.
Maloney was also a man with a routine.
"He'd come in to pick up the mail, and have a quick cup of coffee with us and be on his way," said Marge Morgan, the Greenland Town Clerk.
Maloney was killed on April 12, 2012. He was set to retire on April 20.
Morgan's husband, Vaughan, a town selectman and police liaison, said he recalls Maloney telling him that before he was finally able to spend most of his time fishing, a hobby he loved, he had one thing to take care of.
"I really wasn't quite sure what he was talking about because it was - I believe - an undercover operation," Vaughan Morgan said.
The operation was a drug raid at the Post Road home of then 29-year-old Cullen Mutrie.
But things quickly turned south, as Mutrie opened fire on Maloney and 4 other detectives from a drug task force.
"From there on it was just kind of a nightmare," Marge Morgan added.
Investigators think that after exchanging gunfire with police, Mutrie turned the gun on his girlfriend, Brittany Tibbetts, and then himself.
Fast forward 3 years later, and people in the town of about 3,500 say it feels like just yesterday.
"He was a great guy," Marge Morgan said.
On the anniversary, many stopped at the site of the shooting to reflect and leave flowers.
The home now appears abandoned, although neighbors say someone plows the driveway and cuts the grass.
"What bothers us most is everybody's talking about having their closure, we still look at the house," Miller said.
She said the home is haunting, and she remembers the events she witnessed in her memory every time she looks out her window towards next door.
"I still probably have anger," Miller said. "Because it was just so wrong."