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Berlin, N.H., Home Invasion Turns Deadly - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Berlin, N.H., Home Invasion Turns Deadly

Berlin, New Hampshire - November 26, 2009

Detectives from the New Hampshire State Police major crimes unit were still on scene at 616 Third Avenue in Berlin 18 hours after a fatal shooting.

Residents say it's a normally quiet neighborhood, but Wednesday night police say three men forced their way into an apartment and attacked a man and woman inside. At least two of the robbers had handguns and were allegedly threatening the couple. At some point the male resident got hold of his own handgun and got into a scuffle with the intruders. Shots were fired and one of the robbers, Nathan Stringfield, 23, of Berlin, was hit and died at the scene.

Next-door neighbor Joe Gauthier was doing his dishes when the gunfight broke out.

"I'd just shut the water off and I heard a gunshot so I ran to the side window which faces that building and looked out and saw a man on the ground there," Gauthier said. "He was just lying there and the girl was screaming."

Officials say the woman was the girlfriend of the man who lives in the apartment. She was inside when the armed intruders forced their way in.

"Once they went inside they assaulted the resident inside the apartment. The male resident managed to get his own firearm and that's when the struggle and gunfight ensued," N.H. Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin said.

The second intruder made it down the street and ran a few blocks on Western Avenue before going into a building. That's where police found him suffering from multiple life-threatening gunshot wounds. He's hospitalized in critical condition.

The third intruder managed to get away-- police are still searching for him.

Authorities have not released a motive for the robbery, but one neighbor who claims to know Stringfield says he was a known drug dealer and he heard the three men were after drugs in the apartment.

So far no charges have been filed.

An autopsy will be conducted on Stringfield to figure out the exact circumstances of his death.

The couple in the apartment suffered minor injuries.

Bianca Slota - WCAX News

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