Oct 4, 2015 5:05 PM

Pelham man shoots his closet, says people trying to break in


PELHAM - Police took a 67-year-old man into custody after he fired multiple rounds inside a Nashua Road apartment, telling police he was shooting people as they tried to break in through a hole in his closet.

Police say they received a call around 6 p.m. on Saturday from a resident of the Nashua Road Apartments saying a tenant on the top floor was sitting in a chair yelling that he'd shot four people.

Officers responded to the apartment complex and were able to safely make contact with the man identified as Mark Schlagel, who lived on the third floor.

Police say Schlagel’s apartment door was open and he was sitting naked in a chair yelling for the police. Schlagel had a loaded Smith and Wesson Body Guard .380 pistol beside him on a desk, but officers were able to direct Schlagel away from the gun and detain him.

Schlagel told the officers that there were four people that attempted to break into his apartment by cutting a hole in the closet wall. He told officers that he believed that he shot all of them as they tried to break in.

Officers located multiple spent ammunition rounds on the floor; they also checked the closet and located multiple rounds that had been shot into the closet wall. Some of the shots exited the wall and went to Schlagel’s bathroom. All the rounds that Schlagel fired were contained within the walls of his own apartment. There were no signs of forced entry through the closet wall.

After the incident, police interviewed multiple tenants who reported hearing an unknown loud noise, but they did not recognize the sounds as gun shots, with most of them concluding someone was using a hammer. No one was reported injured as a result of the shots fired.

Schlagel was immediately transported to Southern New Hampshire Regional Medical Center in Nashua for an evaluation. He was later transported to Massachusetts General Hospital for further medical attention.

Officers applied for a search warrant for Schlagel’s apartment, where police seized 201 different gun magazines, 10 thousand plus rounds of ammunition, four pistols, two rifles and one shotgun.

Schlagel has been charged with felony reckless conduct. He is scheduled to be arraigned in the Salem District Court on Nov. 26.

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