Concord, NH – New Hampshire State Police were forced to arrest a Laconia police recruit two days before his graduation after he allegedly made multiple threats against officers who would be in attendance at the ceremony.
Several other recruits reported the comments that 24-year-old Noah Beaulieu made to his classmates at the New Hampshire Police Standard and Training Facility in Concord, the Concord Monitor reported.
New Hampshire State Trooper Tamara Hester wrote in an affidavit for Beaulieu’s arrest that the recruit had made several remarks about the upcoming police academy graduation that “put other recruits in fear for both their safety as police officers and those of their families.”
Trooper Hester wrote that on Tuesday, Beaulieu told several other recruits that he was going to bring a machine gun to graduation on Friday to “see if that kills everyone.”
He told his classmates they didn’t need to worry about the safety of their families because he would only target law enforcement officers.
Beaulieu also told some of the other recruits that “they were going to make a movie about him when he became a serial killer,” according to Trooper Hester’s affidavit.
Concord Police Recruit Officer Kayla Denison told Trooper Hester that Beaulieu had brought up the idea of a suicide pact between the recruits prior to Wednesday, and multiple other recruits said he had mentioned the same to them, the Concord Monitor reported.
Trooper Hester said Beaulieu’s plan depended on the police officers at the graduation reacting to a single shot fired.
Beaulieu thought one shot would cause all other police officers present to draw their weapons and that “all the crossfire from responding officers would be what killed everyone,” Trooper Hester wrote in the affidavit.
Officer Denison told Beaulieu that she was going to report his comments, according to the Concord Monitor.
Another recruit said that Beaulieu had a kill list of targets at graduation and Officer Denison was on the list.
Police took the threats seriously and moved quickly to take the recruit into custody.
"I think it's highly unusual. Highly unusual to have somebody who is in the setting of the academy and making threats against other members of law enforcement," New Hampshire State Police Captain Joe Ebert said.
State troopers arrested Beaulieu on Wednesday as the recruit was driving to Laconia to meet with his police chief.
"We certainly don't envy the responsibility of having to take another law enforcement officer into custody, but in a situation like this, it was warranted, and we wanted to ensure the safety of both the public and also the recruits and other law enforcement officers who were targets of some of the threats," Captain Ebert told WMUR.
He was fired from the Laconia Police Department later the same day, the Concord Monitor reported.
Laconia Police Chief Matthew Canfield said that Beaulieu had undergone a rigorous background check prior to being selected for the police academy in May.
The background check process included a six-hour written psychological exam and a two-hour interview with a psychologist.
“I don’t know if we could have found any signs,” Chief Canfield told the Concord Monitor. “I don’t know if that’s possible, unless we can predict future behavior.”
“It’s disheartening and disappointing,” the chief said. “...Thank God he didn’t carry out his threats and no one got hurt.”
He said the incident had spurred him to do a total review of their background check process, which had previously proven to be effective.
“But in this case, it was truly alarming to have someone that underwent such an intensive background investigation to make those comments, and it's certainly something that we moved very quickly on to protect the community,” Chief Canfield told WMUR.
Beaulieu is a U.S. Army veteran who served three years as an infantryman in the 101st Airborne Division, the Concord Monitor reported.
His attorney, Mark Sisti, maintained that Beaulieu’s remarks had been taken out of context.
"We can be very clear on the bottom line, and that is that what he has been charged with is way out of line. He had no intention whatsoever to harm anybody, terrorize anybody, shoot anybody up, anything like that. Nothing of the sort," Sisti said.
Beaulieu was scheduled to appear in court on Friday morning.