CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — As the suspect he was pursuing wheeled on him, a Manchester police officer said he tried to stop and felt himself falling backwards as the first shot shattered his left shin bone.
Officer Dan Doherty said more shots followed — piercing his legs and lower abdomen — as he lay on the ground with the gunman advancing to within two feet of him.
Doherty testified Wednesday in the attempted murder trial of 23-year-old Myles Webster. Prosecutors say Webster shot Doherty five times as the officer closed in on him during a foot chase in March.
Webster’s lawyers say he didn’t do it and the case is one of mistaken identity.
Defense attorney Caroline Smith asked Doherty why he described Webster — a slender man — as heavyset during a brief emergency room interview with a Manchester police officer on the night of the shooting.
‘‘If he was wearing baggy clothing I would,’’ Doherty replied.
In opening statements, Smith said Manchester police deliberately did not show eyewitnesses a photo array and contaminated the case by releasing his booking photo before many witnesses were interviewed.
Doherty testified on the second day of the trial, which is expected to last two weeks.
He described feeling multiple shots enter his body and said he thought he'd been hit in the face because the heat of the gun’s muzzle blast was so intense.
‘‘It was that close,’’ Doherty testified.
Doherty said he was able to return fire and force Webster to back away, but could not recall how many times he fired. His gun and bullet casings at the scene confirmed it was 10 times, but the shots went wide.
When asked by Smith whether he was trying to scramble backwards while on the ground, Doherty replied, ‘‘I was fighting for my life at that point.’’
Police apprehended Webster in the backyard of a nearby house, where they also found an empty Glock handgun on the ground.
Doherty — who first confronted Webster at an evidentiary hearing last month — said he underwent at least seven surgeries and has a titanium rod in his leg in place of his left tibia. He testified in uniform, but said he has not returned to work and it’s ‘‘underdetermined’’ when he would.