A New Hampshire police officer and father of 2 teenage daughters was shot and killed while responding to a domestic dispute -- right before the suspect's home exploded on live television.
Stephen Arkell was just doing his job when he answered a call in a suburban "over-55" community at the home of an 86-year-old man named Walter Nolan. Neighbors claim Walter and his son, Michael Nolan, who also lived in the house, were involved in an altercation when Stephen arrived to help end the conflict. Instead, the police officer was shot dead -- presumably by Michael -- before things got stranger still: the house suddenly caught fire and exploded.
All we can go by now is neighbors' accounts of what they heard and saw happen. After Arkell arrived at the home, "rapid gun fire" was heard. A fire broke out shortly thereafter and it ended with the beautiful, sprawling home exploding. Black smoke spread across the neighborhood and several neighbors were evacuated from the block.
Walter was reportedly carried off by ambulance, though we aren't yet sure of his condition and whether he survived the fire. Michael reportedly died in the explosion.
So many unanswered questions. Did Michael shoot Arkell and, if so, why? What were the father and son arguing about? Did someone set the house on fire? It will be interesting to learn what happened as the investigation unfolds.
The important thing right now is that we don't overlook the sacrifice this father made to keep peace in this neighborhood. Officials say Arkell was a part-time officer, which means he really chose to take a risk every time he served as a first responder. His colleagues describe him as someone who "courageously put his life on the line to protect others." His daughters should be proud of their dad and reminded every day that he died a hero.
This video shows the chilling moment the house exploded:
What do you think happened here?
Image via YouTube