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Man pleads not guilty to weapons charge following shooting

November 2, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a firearms charge in connection with a Seabrook shooting that left another man dead.

Garrito Fort, 37, of Seabrook, was arrested on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Authorities said he had run away from the scene where police found one man dead in a Seabrook driveway and another man wounded Monday. The two had been shot, authorities said. An autopsy was planned.

Fort’s public defender, Deanna Campbell, said that a police affidavit shows that any type of action from Fort “was in self-defense” and that he told police he was hit, and was confronted by multiple people brandishing aluminum bats and metal pipes. Benjamin Agati, senior assistant attorney general, said the self-defense claim was under investigation.

Agati said Fort pleaded guilty to kidnapping and several assault and battery charges in 2016 in Massachusetts. He has faced violations since then, and an open, pending civil restraining order that prevents him from having weapons.

A judge noted that Fort received a suspended sentence on the kidnapping and assault charges; he decided to keep Fort in jail for now and asked that a bail hearing be scheduled.