In this frame grab from television helicopter video, a home bursts into flames in Brentwood, N.H.
May 13, 2014 9:06 AM EDT

A New Hampshire police officer was shot and killed Monday when responding to a domestic dispute at a suburban home that exploded soon after in a blast so great that the roof tore off the building. Authorities believe that the shooter set his duplex on fire and died either in the flames or the explosion.

Gov. Maggie Hassan ordered flags on state buildings to be flown at half staff in honor of deceased officer Steven Arkell, a 48-year-old father of two.

“Officer Arkell bravely answered the call of duty and made the ultimate sacrifice, a heroic demonstration of his commitment to the safety of his fellow citizens,” Hassan said. “Like so many of our first responders do on a daily basis, Officer Arkell courageously put his life on the line to protect others, and in doing so, was tragically taken far too soon.”

Michael Nolan, 47, is believed to be the culprit. Officials say that he used gunfire to drive other officers out of his home, which exploded at approximately 5:50pm EST. A third person was taken to the hospital, and neighbor Susan Hughes told the Porstmouth Press-Herald that she saw presumed shooter’s 86-year-old father Walter Nolan being taken away from the scene by an ambulance.


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