AG says use of deadly force justified in April 5 shooting; son believes father’s death likely ‘suicide by cop’

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Inset: Mug shot of Carl D. Manning against the end of a letter he sent to the court prior to his death on April 5 in which he tells the court of his plan to take his own life “due to the lack of help” that he received.

MANCHESTER, NH –  Carl D. Manning told a close friend that he didn’t have the courage to take his own life but the day he wanted to end it all “he’d rather just point a gun at a cop and have a cop shoot him to death,” according to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s investigation into the officer-involved shooting that left the 62-year-old man dead.

On April 5, 2020, on Lake Shore Road, Manning did exactly that. 

Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald ruled the use of deadly force against Manning by Sgt. Matthew Barter and Officer Erik Slocum that day was legally justified.

When officers found him asleep inside his truck late in the afternoon of April 5, 2020, Manning was a suspect in an arson and explosion at his ex-girlfriend’s house earlier that morning.  He also was wanted for stalking her and violating a domestic violence restraining order.

Officers arrived at 326 Lake Shore Road to find Manning asleep in his truck.  They broke a window, unlocked the door and woke up Manning who reached behind his back and pulled out an eyeglass case containing a derringer.  He put the gun to his head and with his finger on the trigger said, “Shoot me, shoot me, shoot me now!” according to Detective Eric Papplardo who was part of the three-man SWAT team who located Manning.

The officers, who had their rifles pointed at Manning, repeatedly shouted for him to drop the gun.  Instead, Manning got out of the truck.  As he walked alongside it, Slocum and Barter kept pace, walking along the opposite side of the truck.    

When Manning got to the rear of the truck, he was angry and frustrated and again was saying, “Shoot me.  Shoot me.”  Slocum told investigators Manning made a “motion” with his arm holding the gun indicating to Slocum he was about to shoot one of the officers.

At that moment, both Barter and Slocum fired their rifles and Manning fell to the ground, dead. About 1 minute and 15 seconds had passed from the time the officers arrived at the scene and Manning’s death.

Slocum thought he fired twice but evidence showed he fired the rifle three times.  Barter fired once.

An autopsy conducted by Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jennie V. Duval determined Manning died from a gunshot wound that traveled from his face into his neck. A bullet also grazed his right wrist but investigators said it is unclear whether that wound was from the same or different bullet that caused the fatal neck wound.

A gun is part of the collection of evidence from the scene on Lake Shore Road on April 5, 2020.

The toxicology results from the autopsy are still pending.

When Randy Tremblay learned his friend of more than 20 years had died in an officer-involved shooting on April 5, he called police to tell them that Manning had told him a “good 6 to 10 times” that when he wanted to end his life he would let a cop do it.

Tremblay said he wanted the involved officer to know he did not have a choice since Manning had made the decision it was his time “to go,” according to the report. 

He also told police Manning was “the nicest guy in the world” when not using drugs.

His son, Carl D. Manning Jr., told police two days before his father’s death Manning called him and said, “his time was coming to an end.”  He believes his father’s death could have been “suicide by cop.”

Janet Gelineau, Manning’s former girlfriend, said on April 4 Manning sent her a text message saying, “I loved you Janet.”

The two began dating in October 2016.  It was a volatile relationship and she said at times, Manning was verbally abusive and threatening to her. She said Manning suffered from bipolar disorder and PTSD yet he did not take his medication.

Gelineau also said Manning struggled with addiction, and used alcohol, crack, and cocaine. 

Gelineau described the efforts she took to get Manning help, to no avail. She also talked about her frustration with law enforcement agencies and response to her complaints about Manning.

Both had filed for domestic violence restraining orders last year and both obtained temporary restraining orders against each other.

However, in her supplemental final hearing order, Judge Kimberly A. Chabot found that Gelineau had assaulted Manning when she grabbed his arm and scratched him in attempting to get back her cell phone. She also found, however, that Manning was the aggressor who threatened to “burn down the house with her in it” and “to get even with her” if his parole is violated.  Manning had misdemeanor and felony convictions.  The morning of the fire Gelineau was in Vermont.

In his truck, investigators found an unopened box of 100 rounds of ammunition for his gun and a number of handwritten letters to Gelineau, family and friends. [included in the document below].

“Please understand I had no other choice. I’m not going back to jail. And I can’t and do not want to live without her,” he wrote his brother Frank.   In another letter to his brother he talked about Frank potentially collecting the money from Mr. Manning’s SSDI and paycheck, Mr. Manning told his brother that he was sorry, but he “went on a 4-day coke binge and spent it.” Finally, Mr. Manning admitted to setting the fire at Gelineau’s garage.

He also sent a letter to the court which was received on April 7, 2020, expressing his displeasure with the handling of two cases involving him that were pending in the court.   In the last paragraph of his letter, Manning told the court: “Because of the lack of help that I have received from this court I am left with no other choice but to end my own life.”

The judge who received the letter was not identified in the report.