Motorist dead, state trooper injured following traffic stop in Dalton

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CONCORD, NH – A Dalton man is dead and a state police officer is hospitalized following an exchange of gunfire during a traffic stop in Dalton.

According to the NH Attorney General’s office, the trooper did not have a police body camera or cruiser camera. In October Gov. Chris Sununu announced that funding body cameras for state police was among several recommendations for improving policing that came out of his Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency Commission. It was expected that body cameras would be in use for NH troopers by July of 2021.

The following narrative was provided Thursday by the NH Attorney General’s office.

At approximately 9 p.m. on Wednesday, December 23, 2020, a New Hampshire State Police Trooper stopped a vehicle on Bridge Hill Road in Dalton.  Shortly after the motor vehicle stop, there was an exchange of gunfire between the Trooper and the male occupant of the stopped vehicle. 

The motorist has since been identified as Mark R. Clermont, 45, of Whitefield. An autopsy performed on Thursday by Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Mitchell Weinberg concluded that the manner of Mr. Clermon’s death was homicide caused by a gunshot wound to the head.

 As used by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, homicide is defined as the killing of one person by another.

The exact circumstances surrounding this incident remain actively under investigation. 

The Trooper remains hospitalized where he is being treated for gunshot wounds and is in critical, but stable condition. No further information will be released until after the involved Trooper’s formal interview is completed. 

Mr. Clermont was armed with a rifle and a handgun.  

According to the NH Attorney General’s office, the trooper did not have a police body camera or cruiser camera. In October Gov. Chris Sununu announced that funding body cameras for state police was among several recommendations for improving policing that came out of his Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency Commission. It was expected that body cameras would be in use for NH troopers by July of 2021.

The name of the Trooper involved in the incident is being withheld pending the conclusion of a formal interview. the AG’s office said.