The name of the police officer involved in a fatal Derry shooting was not available as of Monday, but the victim has been identified by New Hampshire State Police.
A Derry police officer shot and killed Andrew J. Toto, 54, on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 21, after Toto opened fire on him on Scobie Pond Road.
Assistant New Hampshire Attorney General Benjamin Agati said Monday that the officer’s name will not be revealed until the investigation is completed. “The investigation is still ongoing and we are still interviewing people,” he said.
Attorney General Joseph Foster and New Hampshire State Police Col. Robert Quinn announced the name of the deceased the following afternoon.
According to reports, the officer was summoned to the neighborhood after Toto’s wife called 9-1-1 to report her husband as “depressed” and “suicidal.” She reported that he left their home with a shotgun. The officer started toward the residence but found Toto and his truck before arriving there.
According to Agati, the man was outside his truck and shooting from about 150 feet away. “There was no opportunity to have a conversation,” Agati said.
Agati said, “Certainly his actions seemed to be directly focused on that officer.”
The officer opened fire, Agati said, because “his actions were based on training and instincts.”
Toto was killed by a single gunshot. He was taken to Parkland Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas A. Andrew conducted an autopsy Thursday, Jan. 22, and determined that Toto’s cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the chest and the manner of death was homicide.
“We don’t know yet if there will be any charges against the officer,” Agati said.
Derry Police Capt. Vern Thomas said he could not name the officer in the case because the case is being handled by the Attorney General’s office. Agati said, “We handle all cases involving officers and deadly force.”
Thomas said counseling will be available to any member of the Police Department who needs it.
Toto, a native of Brookline, Mass., was a 25-year Derry resident. He is survived by his wife Jean (Steinberg) Toto of Derry; a daughter, Holly Toto of Derry; his father, Albert Toto of Phoenix, Ariz.; his mother, Gail Jones, and her partner, Norman Turnquist of Lexington, Mass.; a brother, Peter Toto of West Brookfield, Mass.; his uncle, Donald Jones of Leominster, Mass., and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Memorial services will be held by the family at a later date.
The investigation remains ongoing and a report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. Those with information related to the shooting incident may contact Sgt. Brian Strong at the New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit, 223-4381.