Claremont officer who fired fatal shots identified
Corporal Ian Kibbe was lone officer at the scene
CLAREMONT, NH - The name of the police officer who shot and killed 25-year-old Cody Lafont on Sunday morning at Lafont's residence on Congress Street was released by the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office on Friday afternoon.
The statement said that Corporal Ian Kibbe, a 2-and-a-half year veteran of the Claremont Police Department, fired the three shots that stuck Lafont in the chest shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday and noted that he was the only officer present at the time of the shooting.
"There was no recording device that captured the shooting, as the department does not have body cameras or cruiser cameras. The investigation is ongoing and it is anticipated that a conclusion regarding whether the officer’s actions were lawful will be released in the coming weeks," the AG's press release concluded.
A short time later Claremont Police Chief Alexander Scott issued his own update saying, "We appreciate and understand the community's wishes for quick answers but must respect the integrity of the investigative process to ensure the most accurate outcome."
Chief Scott explained that, "as is standard practice in any use-of-force incident of this nature," Corporal Kibbe was, "automatically removed from line-duty assignment pending the completion of the Attorney General's Office's investigation and an administrative review" which will be conducted by the Claremont Police Department.
Cody Lafont, 25, of Claremont
"The Claremont Police Department is not provided with any information concerning the ongoing investigation until that investigation is complete and the Attorney General's Office issues its final report on the incident," Chief Scott noted.
Autopsy results released Tuesday morning revealed that Lafont died after being hit three times in the chest during what was described as a "confrontation" at his residence on Congress Street which occurred after someone called for police to respond to the residence.
Lafont's mother told reporters this week that her son had battled with depression issues since he was young and she was hoping for answers when the report is eventually released. Lafont grew up in neighboring Ascutney, Vermont but attended high school in Claremont and has no real record except for some minor but bizarre encounters with police in recent months.
Court records indicate that just this past December LaFont was charged with “misusing” the 911 system after he reportedly placed a call to emergency dispatchers shorty before 5 a.m. and then, after speaking to an officer at his home on Congress Street for some time, called 911 again a short time after the officer left and asked if he could get a ride to McDonalds.
Court records indicate that LaFont was given a suspended sentence following a series of minor incidents back in December, one of which involved a resisting arrest charge, and that he’d been ordered to continue on with mental health counseling in which he was already engaged.
Police have not described the specific nature of the call on Sunday morning that again drew them to LaFont’s residence on Congress Street, which is in a small residential neighborhood diagonally across the Sugar River from the Tractor Supply Store, beyond noting that it involved “a call for (police) service to a residence.”
Officials said that at 4:50 a.m. this Sunday, ”An adult male at the residence was fatally wounded during a confrontation with police. No police officers were physically injured during the incident."