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Custody dispute ends in Boscawen murder-suicide

BOSCAWEN, N.H. --A custody dispute between an estranged couple escalated to a murder-suicide Friday as a man confronted a woman at a Boscawen home, killing her and severely injuring a boy and another man before turning the gun on himself.

Authorities released few details, but Jeff Strelzin, senior assistant attorney general, confirmed the murder-suicide. Neighbors said the woman and her 10-year-old son had been staying at the home of Mark and Wendy Bamford for several months.

Neighbor Kristy Matheson told the New Hampshire Union Leader that the man stormed the house looking for his son but was not allowed to see him. He returned with a gun and shot his ex-wife, Matheson said.

"This woman was shot and killed by her ex-husband. He went and got his gun, came back and busted into the house," she said.

Police responded to reports of a shooting late Friday afternoon, and found two adults; one, a woman, died a short time later, authorities said.

Matheson said Mark Bamford was shot and severely injured. He was taken to Concord Hospital and was in critical condition on Friday.

Matheson said Wendy Bamford and the couple's children escaped the house. Boscawen Police Chief David Croft said seven people, including the shooter, were in the house when the shooting started.

"A very, very tragic situation occurred here tonight," he told the Concord Monitor.

Meanwhile State Police SWAT teams surrounded the house and tried to communicate with the shooter and the boy who remained inside. About 9:30 p.m., the wounded boy walked out of the house.

"He has been shot and severely injured. He has been taken to Concord Hospital where he's in critical condition," Strelzin said.

When police entered the house they found the man dead, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot. Police did not fire any shots during the standoff.