On Saturday August 3, 2019, around 1:50 am, Rochester Police attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a vehicle traveling north on Milton Rd, in the area of the Lilac Mall. The vehicle, a blue Volkswagen Jetta, did not stop for the Officer and continued north on Milton Rd. The vehicle then traveled approximately two miles before turning onto Periwinkle Drive (SAKS Mobile Home Park). As the Officer turned onto Periwinkle Drive, he noticed the driver running from the vehicle toward the wood line. The Officer followed and then was fired upon by the driver.
A perimeter was set up and with the help of several agencies and resources, the suspect was located in the woods, along the Salmon Falls River, along the Rochester NH/Lebanon ME line, on the NH side, and taken into custody around 8:43 am by the Strafford County Regional Tactical Operations Unit. The suspect was not responsive and appeared to have sustained what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital with a serious, life threatening injury.
Rochester Police have identified the suspect as Ricco Chanthapho, age 28, listed as transient in the area.
Through this point in the investigation, Rochester Police believe the vehicle Chanthapho was driving was stolen, had stolen registration plates on it, and may have also been used in the commission of other crimes as Rochester Police found a gun reported stolen from a recent Burglary as Seacoast Gun and Pawn in the vehicle.
Chanthapho remains hospitalized at this time in critical condition. Chanthapho is facing Felony level charges for Attempted Murder, Attempted First Degree Assault, Reckless Conduct, Receiving Stolen Property and other charges.
For their assistance with this incident and investigation, Rochester Police would like to thank their Officers and dispatchers, the Stafford County Regional Tactical Operations Unit, NH State Police, Maine State Police, Milton Police, City of Rochester Public Works, ATF, Seacoast SERT team, Belknap County SWAT, US Marshals, and Strafford County Sheriff’s Office.
Anyone with information relevant to this case is urged to contact the Rochester Police Dept. Please call the Rochester Police Department at 603-330-7128. You can also provide information and remain anonymous by calling the Rochester Crime Line at 603-335-6500 or Text to: CRIMES (274637) Body of Text: TEXT4CASH + your tip. Cash rewards are offered for information that leads to an arrest.
RPD photo from 2015