Officer Shot During False Alarm Response


Officer Stephen Rice, 25, was shot in the abdomen by a homeowner while responding to a burglar alarm. Rice responded to the alarm around 2:30 a.m. with another officer, Ryan Chartrand. The two officers had been let into the home at 17A Farmington Drive by a neighbor who believed homeowner, Mark Ragsdale, 39, to be on vacation.

Police were unaware that Ragsdale had returned home and set off the alarm. According to Police Chief A. Wayne Sampson, Ragsdale informed the alarm company that he had set off the alarm; however, the alarm company did not notify police.

Sampson said the officers, who were in full uniform and arrived in a marked cruiser, noticed a dim light on the second floor and saw a shadowy figure. They entered the home to search the interior when Officer Rice was shot by Ragsdale. According to police, Ragsdale is properly licensed to carry firearms in the state and was not taken into custody or charged with any crime.

As of July 15, Rice was in stable condition at Umass Memorial Medical Center after undergoing surgery for the gunshot wound.

According to Sampson, had the two officers announced themselves when they entered the home, the situation could have been avoided.

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