EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 12, 2013

State police investigate death at chief's home

Sheriff's office confirms shooting, details scarce

By Doug Ireland and Jo-Anne MacKenzie
Staff writers

---- — DANVILLE — State police are investigating an untimely death at the home of longtime police Chief Wade Parsons.

Nearly seven hours after scanner reports said a 15-year-old with a gunshot wound to the stomach was in traumatic arrest at 53 Caramel Drive, police had little to say.

At about 8:30 p.m., N.H. State Police Lt. Christopher Vetter said Parsons’ home was “an active crime scene.”

“What happened in that house happened,” Vetter said.

He later said residents need not fear for their safety.

Firefighters were at the home earlier in the evening, leaving at around 9 p.m.

Numerous vehicles were parked at the fire station, but the station door was locked and the fire department dispatcher said they couldn’t comment.

Police did not confirm there was a shooting at the home, nor would they offer any identifying details about the victim.

But the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher confirmed there was a shooting at the residence yesterday evening.

More than a dozen police vehicles lined the darkened neighborhood last night. A single Danville officer spotted at the scene had no comment.

Although state police earlier promised some details in a press release later, as of 1 a.m., they had not released a statement.

With no streetlights and cloudy skies, the rural street was dark last night. Lights were blazing from inside Parsons’ one-and-a-half-story, three-bedroom home.

Neighbors, concerned with the heavy police presence, walked down the street, but few wished to comment.

One neighbor, Steve Pease of 39 Caramel Drive, said he believed Parsons lives at the home with his elderly mother. He also said the chief has an older daughter.

“He’s a great guy,” Pease said of Parsons.

Caramel Drive is in an area of relatively new homes, on streets whimsically named Lollypop Lane, Candy Lane, Milky Way. The area is east of Little Cub Pond and Diamond Pond, off Colby Road.

Parsons is listed as the sole owner of 53 Caramel Drive, a home built in 1992 on 2.2 acres, according to town assessing records.

He has been with the police department since 1985. He was elected chief in March 1995.

The town has a population of 4,387, according to the 2010 census. It’s a quiet place, but violent death is not unknown here.

In June 2008, Paul McDonald bludgeoned 54-year-old Richard Wilcox to death at the Kingston Road home they shared.

McDonald was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in March 2010.

More recently, in June 2010, Jackson Mwangi bludgeoned, stabbed and drove over his estranged girlfriend, in the presence of their young son at her Cobbler’s Ridge home.

Mwangi was sentenced to 40 years to life in June 2011.