Fatal Shooting Outside Rite Aid Legally Justified After 1 Year Investigation By MPD and NH AG
MANCHESTER, NH - The final report has been issued more than a year after Isaac Landry, 22 was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Elm Street Rite Aid.
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office and Manchester Police say that no charges will be brought against the shooter.
Landry of Manchester was 22 years old when he was fatally shot in 2022 on June 28th.
In a 46-page report, the Attorney General said that Landry who had mental health issues charged the shooter with a large tree branch.
Jonathan Bright thought he was about to be seriously injured or killed by a man he did not know.
Police learned that before the shooting, Bright and his friend, Stephen Reischer were hanging out in the Rite-Aid parking lot. While the two men were standing on the sidewalk adjacent to the Rite-Aid building, Landry emerged from a group of trees and bushes on the periphery of the parking lot and walked toward the two men armed with a large branch.
When he was within 40-50 feet of the two men he charged at them, screaming and waving the large branch in the air, and smashing it against the ground. As he did this, the branch shattered into several pieces. Bright and Reischer fled from Landry.
Reischer ran in between his and Bright’s parked cars while Bright ran around the driver’s side of his vehicle. Landry ran past Reischer and after Bright. Since Landry had shattered the branch on the ground, it did not appear he had it in his hands when he continued chasing after Bright.
As Landry got closer to Bright, Bright drew a handgun from a holster on his waistband. Bright gave repeated and audible warnings to Landry to stop chasing him and that he had a gun. Bright gave these warnings while backing away from Landry. Despite Bright’s warnings, Landry continued to pursue him, screaming, and moving his body wildly as he did so.
Landry got closer to Bright as they ran into the middle of the parking lot. As they did so, Bright turned, and began backpedaling away from Landry, and brought his handgun up toward Landry.
Landry moved quickly and closed the distance between himself and Bright, such that the two men were within arm’s reach of one another. At that point, Bright fired his handgun and shot Landry in the chest.
Landry stood for a moment and then fell to the ground. Bright called 9-1-1 and told them to hurry according to the report.
Prior to Landry’s attack, neither Bright nor Reischer knew Landry or had any interactions with him. The whole incident lasted approximately thirty seconds.
When police arrived they found Landry unresponsive and Bright at the scene with a holstered handgun.
Police secured the firearm and detained Bright at the scene.
According to the report “Bright and Reischer were both fully cooperative with the investigation. Bright immediately notified the first responding officers of his conduct, turned over his firearm, and voluntarily participated in a recorded interview.”
NH Chief Medical Examiner Jennie Duval performed an autopsy on Landry. Dr. Duval concluded that the cause of death was a single gunshot wound of the chest with perforation of the heart, and the manner of death was a homicide.
Detectives obtained copies of surveillance footage from Rite-Aid. Only two of Rite-Aid’s surveillance cameras captured the incident. One camera (labeled by the surveillance software as “CAM1”) is positioned above the entrance/exit of Rite-Aid, facing south. The other camera (labeled by the surveillance software as “CAM3”) is on the southeast corner of the Rite-Aid building facing the southwest corner of the parking lot. The entire incident from when Mr. Landry emerged from the tree line, armed with a branch, to when he collapsed, lasted approximately 30 seconds.
The final report states “Based on all the facts and circumstances of this case, the Attorney General has concluded that Mr. Bright was justified in his use of deadly force in self-defense under RSA 627:4, II, and III(a). In this case, Mr. Bright was in a public place where he was authorized to be – the parking lot of the Rite-Aid pharmacy.
Mr. Bright did not antagonize nor interact with Mr. Landry whatsoever prior to Mr. Landry’s attack. Mr. Landry approached Mr. Bright within 40-50 feet, armed with a four-foot-long branch. Without explanation or provocation, Mr. Landry then charged Mr. Bright waving the branch above his head, smashing it against the ground, and screaming loudly.
While not required to retreat as a matter of law, Mr. Bright attempted to retreat twice: once by running to the driver’s side of his vehicle; and – when he believed he could not get into his car safely – a second time by running away from Mr. Landry, deeper into the parking lot. As Mr. Bright ran away into the parking lot, he drew his handgun. Mr. Landry continued to pursue him. At this point, Mr. Bright turned and faced Mr. Landry while backpedaling, attempting to keep some distance between them. As he backpedaled, he aimed his handgun at Mr. Landry, while giving repeated audible warnings to Mr. Landry to stop chasing him. He also yelled that he had a gun.
Witnesses explained how quickly Mr. Landry closed the gap between him and Mr. Bright, ignoring all warnings from Mr. Bright; so quickly that he was within arm’s reach of him at the time Mr. Bright fired, despite Mr. Bright continuing to retreat away from him. Under New Hampshire law, Mr. Bright had no duty to retreat because he lawfully had a right to be in the public parking lot of the Rite-Aid, but eyewitnesses and video footage showed he did try to retreat from Mr. Landry’s attack.
Based on the evidence gathered, there were no other apparent avenues he could have taken to retreat with complete safety. It was objectively reasonable for Mr. Bright to conclude that Mr. Landry constituted an imminent threat of unlawful deadly force to him when he shot Mr. Landry on June 28, 2022.
At that moment, and although unarmed, Mr. Landry was within arm’s reach of Mr. Bright, and thus capable of causing physical contact with Mr. Bright. Everything that Mr. Landry had done up to that point can be objectively viewed as posing an imminent and deadly threat. First, Mr. Landry launched his attack upon Mr. Bright unprovoked. Second, Mr. Landry sustained his pursuit of Mr. Bright despite continued and repeated demands by Mr. Bright that he stop. Third, Mr. Landry’s pursuit of Mr. Bright persisted through Mr. Bright’s warnings that he (Mr. Bright) had a handgun and visibly brandished this handgun to Mr. Landry, even shining the under-barrel flashlight on him.
Finally, Mr. Bright last saw Mr. Landry armed with a large branch, which he described Mr. Landry as swinging wildly and rapidly, while he screamed incoherently, and while Mr. Landry was quickly closing the distance between them. Moreover, Mr. Landry had both the opportunity and ability to use deadly physical force upon Mr. Bright. Given how quickly Mr. Landry closed the distance between them, and being in such close proximity to Mr. Bright, he could gain control of Mr. Bright’s handgun and use it against him. Therefore, we conclude that Mr. Bright objectively and reasonably believed that Mr. Landry was about to use deadly force.
Accordingly, based on all the facts and circumstances known to Mr. Bright at the time he encountered him, it was reasonable for Mr. Bright to conclude that Mr. Landry was about to use deadly force against him. Therefore, no criminal charges will be filed against Mr. Bright in connection with the shooting of Mr. Landry as Mr. Bright justifiably used deadly force to defend himself. “
The entire NH Attorney Generals report can be found by CLICKING HERE