Investigation Continues into Police Shooting of Derry Man

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office continues to investigate the fatal shooting of a Derry man by a Derry police officer, while stating that the officer’s name would not be released until the investigation was concluded.

Asst. Attorney General Benjamin Agati said Friday that the investigation into the shooting of Andrew Toto Jan. 21 is continuing.

Toto’s wife, Jean, summoned police through a 9-1-1 call after Toto left their home allegedly depressed and suicidal and with a  shotgun. The officer caught up with Toto on Scobie Pond Road and Toto is alleged to have opened fire on the officer from behind his truck, to which the officer responded.

Toto, 54, was taken to Parkland Medical Center and pronounced dead. In an autopsy conducted the next day, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas A. Andrew determined that Toto’s cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the chest and the manner of death was homicide.

Agati later said that Toto fired on the officer from about 150 feet away, and that the officer’s actions were based on “training and instincts.”

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, which handles all cases involving officers and deadly force.

Agati said he did not have a “solid timeline” for when the name would be released. “We are dotting every I and crossing every T,” he said.

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.

Thomas of the Derry Police Department declined to say if the officer was still on active duty.

The last time a Derry officer was involved in a fatal shooting was in the 1970s, according to Thomas. “I don’t have details since it was before my time,” he said.