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New Hampshire Police Officer's Death, Fire Probe Expected To Take Days

BRENTWOOD, N.H. (CBS/AP) — Several questions remained unanswered Wednesday in the shooting death of a police officer and a fire and explosion that followed leaving a gunman dead.

Brentwood Police Officer Stephen Arkell, 48, was shot and killed responding to a domestic disturbance at a home Monday afternoon.

The gunman, 47-year-old Michael Nolan, was found dead in the rubble after a fire and explosion leveled the duplex that belonged to his father.

Brentwood Explosion
A massive explosion blew the front off the house, May 12, 2014. (WBZ-TV)

The state attorney general's office said Arkell died from gunshot wounds before the fire.

His body was found on the first floor while Nolan's was found in the garage area. Nolan's father, 86-year-old Walter Nolan, was treated at a hospital and released.

More testing is being done after an autopsy performed Tuesday on Michael Nolan did not determine how he died.

Jeffery Strelzin, chief of the attorney general's homicide unit, would not say if Arkell was wearing a protective vest, saying it's still part of the investigation.

Arkell, who was married and had two teenage daughters, had worked for the Brentwood Police Department for about 15 years as a part-time officer. He helped coach the girls' lacrosse team at Exeter High School, where both of his daughters play.

Authorities said police had never been called to the house before and that Michael Nolan had no criminal record. People in the neighborhood for residents 55 and older told police the father and son had argued before.

Associate Attorney General Jane Young said investigators don't yet know what kind of gun was used or how the fire and explosion were triggered. They are looking at propane, which is used to heat the homes in the neighborhood.

The investigation will take several days.

Services for Stephen Arkell will be held next week at Exeter High School. A wake will be held Tuesday evening and a memorial service is scheduled for Wednesday morning at 11:00 a.m.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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