Murder victim punched accused killer prior to being shot eight times, mother says

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Michelle Pouliot Bilodeau, right, mother of shooting victim Timothy Pouliot outside the courtroom at Hillsborough County Superior Court on Jan. 30 with her granddaughter and her son’s girlfriend. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings.

MANCHESTER, NH – The victim of a shooting early Saturday morning outside the Goat Bar and Grill was shot eight times in the torso, according to his mother.

Michelle Pouliot Bilodeau and other family members spoke with reporters Monday morning in the lobby of the Hillsborough County Superior Court North while waiting for the expected arraignment of John Delee, 22, of Salem, accused of killing her son, Timothy Pouliot, 24.

About a dozen relatives and friends of Delee were in the courtroom, also awaiting the court hearing.  Delee’s family declined to speak with reporters.

Delee was in the courthouse, detained in a holding cell in the basement, but did not appear in a courtroom.  Instead, he waived arraignment on charges of second-degree murder, accusing him of recklessly causing Pouliot’s death by shooting him under circumstances “manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life,” and reckless conduct, for “placing another in danger of serious bodily injury by firing a gun in the area of pedestrians.”  He entered not-guilty pleas to the felony charges.

As a result, no hearing took place.

He is being held without bail in the Valley Street jail, pending a bail hearing which has yet to be set.

Videos of Delee being escorted out of the bar early Saturday morning by bouncers as well as the shooting itself, which took place outside about five minutes later, were posted to Reddit.  On the video recording taken inside the bar, Delee, who is 6-foot-6 and weighs 330 pounds, is being escorted out of the bar by bouncers.

A suspicious death investigation is underway involving the NH Attorney General's office. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings
Detectives at the scene of a fatal shooting Jan. 28, 2023. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

He towers above the crowd and is heard yelling, “Who punched me in the face?”  And also saying, “Come fight me. Come fight me.”

The second video, which lasts 11 seconds, records a man, identified as Pouliot, running at Delee and punching him in the face.  After being punched, Delee turns towards Pouliot; eight gunshots are heard. Police said Pouliet died at the scene.

Bilodeau, in the courthouse lobby, said her son was 5-foot-6 and weighed a little over 100 pounds.  She said he was not armed and was shot eight times in the upper body – four in the abdomen and the others in his shoulder and chest. 

Bilodeau doesn’t know if her son was involved in a confrontation with Delee prior to the shooting.  Pouliot had gone to the bar to meet a friend, she said.   

Choking back tears at times, Bilodeau said her son was “awesome,” that he had taken tae kwon do since he was 10 years old, had his black belt, and was an instructor, mentoring hundreds of kids.

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Michelle Pouliot Bilodeau with her son Timothy Pouliot, the victim of a fatal shooting outside a local bar in the early hours of Jan. 28, 2023. Courtesy Photo

Defense attorney Benjamin L. Falkner of Andover, Mass.  said he is confident that “ultimately he (Delee) will be found not guilty.”   He said he expects to “raise a self-defense claim” but said he couldn’t comment on any of the evidence” until he receives all of it.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Scott Chase said the shooting happened after a confrontation inside The Goat. 

Asked if it involved Pouliot and Delee, Chase said at this point in the investigation he “cannot discuss who was involved in the confrontation.”

Investigators are aware of the video recordings posted on social media. Asked what role they would play in the investigation and prosecution, Chase said, “Obviously, we are always looking for the most descript evidence we can find.  Certainly, surveillance footage is always helpful in piecing out the facts and circumstances that preceded the incident.”

He urged anyone who had video of what happened inside or outside the club to forward it to the Manchester Police Department.



About this Author

Pat Grossmith

Pat Grossmith is a freelance reporter.