Dec 31, 2014 10:05 AM

Trooper cleared in fatal Manchester shooting sued by woman's family

From staff and wire reports

CONCORD - A New Hampshire state trooper who authorities said was justified in fatally shooting a woman as she drove at him in 2013 has been sued by her family.

Police said the shooting of Wendy Lawrence happened at a Manchester intersection after two high-speed pursuits, which started on Interstate 89. During the pursuit Lawrence nearly struck a pedestrian and several vehicles.

Attorney General Joseph Foster's report said Lawrence drove aggressively at Trooper Chad Lavoie, who was out of his cruiser; Lavoie thought his life was in danger.

The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges that Lawrence never struck the cruiser and that Lavoie hit her. It said she posed no immediate threat.

"We intend to show that the official version of events is inconsistent with the objective evidence in the case and will not stand up to scrutiny," said Richard Lehmann, one of the lawyers on the case. "The AG's office made no effort to obtain the data available from the 'black box' in Lawrence's car. If they had, they would have seen that their version of events is wrong."

Assistant Attorney General Karen Schlitzer told NH1 News on Wednesday that it is still too early to comment on the lawsuit.

"It's still in the infancy states of the lawsuit," Schlitzer said. "It may be a while before we have the answer."


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