What we know about the fatal police shooting of NH teenager Misha Faye

Sweetened

Records show that officers have been called to the 17-year-old’s home several times in the past year to seek mental health assistance.

New Hampshire officials say 17-year-old Misha Fay has died after being shot and killed by a police officer in Guilford, a town on Lake Winnipesaukee. Jessica Rinaldi / Globe Staff

The Guilford Police Department officers were no strangers to the home on Farney Point Road, located in central New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Authorities have received seven emergency calls from the Guilford home since February 2022, all from family members seeking mental health help for 17-year-old Misha Fay, according to Concord Monitor.

And when police were called to the house again on January 1, 2023, Fay was allegedly armed with a knife.

Minutes later, the teen was dead; New Hampshire officials said he was shot and killed by an officer.

Below, what we know so far about the police shooting of the 17-year-old on New Year’s Day.

What we know about Mischa Fay

Friends and family remember Fay as a traveling encyclopedia of all things “Star Wars” and a devoted hockey player and fan who considered Merrill Fay Stadium—named after his family—a second home. His passions also included Weird Al, hot sauce, and boating adventures, according to his obituary.

He is survived by his parents, Merrill B. Fay and Pete Patasque Fay; grandmother Susan Barron; sisters Carrie Fay Blandford, Gwendolyn Crafts, and Cora Ann Crafts; brothers Jeffrey Fay and William Fay; As well as several nieces and a nephew.

His obituary reads: “Misha loved, and was greatly loved by, many friends, teachers, coaches… everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.” “Many doctors, nurses and healthcare workers have also loved Misha over the past two years of his failing health.”

Police dispatch records documented this decline, with emergency calls relaying moments when the teen refused to take his medication or acted out of control, according to Concord Monitor.

Several times, police records indicate that Fey was taken to the hospital, WMUR reports.

What happened on January 1?

At around 9:52 p.m. on New Year’s Day, Guilford Police Officers on Farney Point Road responded to a 911 call about a resident armed with a knife, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office said in a news release.

Sgt. The AG’s office said Douglas Wall and Officer Nathan Ayotte met Fay inside the house, where Ayott fired his electronic charge, and Wall fired his handgun. According to officials, the officers had body cameras, though the footage has not yet been made public.

Faye was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead. An autopsy conducted on January 3 showed that he died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, and the chief medical examiner ruled the manner of his death a homicide, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Officials said that no officers or others were physically injured during the incident.

Ayotte and Wall – who are now on vacation – had previously responded to the house and learned of Fay’s mental health history, Monitor mentioned.

A Guilford Police Department Facebook post from November notes that Ayotte attended a seminar on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for law enforcement officers, aiming to provide “more options to safely and effectively control resistant subjects” while “reducing injuries to both officers and suspects.”

“I’m so confused about why a 17-year-old would have some kind of breakdown or something happen in the house, and then get tortured, and then get shot—I just couldn’t believe it,” Gilford resident Ken Krause told WMUR.

What the advocates say

Faye’s death comes amid a growing focus on New Hampshire’s approach to mental health services.

2021 Concord Monitor The investigation found that more than 60% of people shot and killed by New Hampshire police over the past decade had a mental illness.

New Hampshire Public Broadcasting reports that in recent years the state has taken several steps to reshape the way it handles emergency calls for people in crisis. These steps include the New Hampshire Rapid Response Access Point, which provides 24/7 phone and chat support and an in-person mobile crisis response team.

“Addressing the mental health crisis in our state is the collective responsibility of every New Hampshire resident,” the New Hampshire chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness said in a statement following Fay’s death. “Together, we must advocate for policies and support to ensure that granite gentlemen affected by mental illness have access to the resources needed to live full lives in their community – lives not cut short by tragedy or untreated co-morbid conditions. Preventing such tragic outcomes requires a multifaceted approach facets.”

To that end, NAMI New Hampshire has called for several steps, including continued investment in rapid response and crisis intervention team programs. The organization also urged the state legislature to create a Mental Health Incident Review Board to analyze the mental health aspects of fatal force incidents.

What’s Next?

Many details about the sequence of events that occurred on Farney Point Road on January 1 are still not publicly known, including the amount of time that elapsed between the firing of a taser and a firearm. The Public Prosecutor’s Office said the investigation into the circumstances of the accident was still underway.

“The report on whether Sergeant Wall’s use of lethal force was justified is expected to be released once the investigation is completed,” the attorney general’s office said on Saturday. No further updates are expected until the report is released.

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