Man spoke on phone during car chase
DRACUT - The Massachusetts man fatally shot by police in New Hampshire early Saturday spoke to a relative by phone while he was pursued by police from Lowell across the state line into Pelham, his family said yesterday.
“I guess she was trying to talk him through it, trying to stop him from doing whatever he was doing,’’ said Wolfredo Febres, 21, a cousin of the shooting victim, Alberto Pagan, also 21.
Authorities said on Saturday that Pagan fled a domestic violence scene in Lowell at about 3:30 a.m. and led officers on a car chase toward Pelham. He was shot roughly two hours later on Hobbs Road in Pelham after advancing on officers from several agencies while armed with a handgun, according to a statement from the New Hampshire attorney general’s office.
Pagan had been stopped one time in Pelham before he reached Hobbs Road, according to the statement, when he exited his vehicle on Route 38 holding the gun and ignoring officers who implored him to surrender peacefully.
Yesterday, Febres said on the porch of the Pagan family home in Dracut that Pagan was talking on his cellphone with a female relative during the encounter on Route 38. Febres said he did not know what they discussed.
Pagan’s brother, Gilberto, 20, said the family has reached out to authorities in New Hampshire, but no one has told them what happened.
“We miss him, and I don’t know why it ended like this,’’ Gilberto said.
Authorities have not said whether Pagan fired at officers before he was shot, or which officers opened fire at the scene in Pelham.
Lowell and Pelham police yesterday referred questions to the attorney general’s office.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery A. Strelzin said in an e-mail that he could not answer questions about the shooting until the preliminary report is completed. He said that authorities may release the results of Pagan’s autopsy today.
Gilberto said his brother was living in Lowell at the time of his death. He said he thought Pagan had broken up with his girlfriend, who is the mother of his young daughter.
He said Pagan doted on the toddler, and that fatherhood helped him mature after an adolescence marked by occasional run-ins with police for infractions such as speeding and trespassing. “He cleaned up, he went straight,’’ Gilberto said. “He wasn’t messing around.’’
He said Pagan completed his GED around the time his daughter was born and that he enjoyed working as a security guard at Lowell General Hospital. He also loved to work on his car, an Infiniti sedan.
Gilberto said he was surprised by news reports that his brother had a gun when police shot him.
“As far as I know, he never even knew where to get a gun,’’ he said.
A spokesman for Lowell General Hospital said yesterday that security guards at the facility are not armed. The hospital said in a statement on Saturday that Pagan had worked there for the past 2 1/2 years.
Febres said his cousin will be sorely missed. “He was real cool,’’ Febres said. “I loved my cousin to death.’’