The passer-by who confronted and killed the gunman in last Friday's police shooting was an expert marksman who used to alarm his neighbors by firing guns on his own property, court records show.
"I am an ex-Marine and an expert shot. I don't miss what I shoot at," Gregory Floyd, 49, told police officers who searched his home in 1997.
Authorities have decided not to charge Floyd in Friday's shooting, ruling he was justified when he fired at Liko Kenney, 24, just moments after watching Kenney shoot and kill Franconia Police Cpl. Bruce McKay.
Kenney's uncle, Bill, said he is not angry at Floyd.
"I thank him," Bill Kenney said yesterday. "He did an amazing thing."
A "loner" by reputation, Floyd has declined to speak with reporters since the shootings. A woman who answered the phone at his house Sunday said, "This is a private, unlisted, unpublished number. Please don't call again."
Residents in the rural White Mountains town of Easton, home to about 280 people, said they tend to keep away from Floyd, just as he keeps away from them. His property on the southern edge of town is said to be guarded by Rottweilers.
"He's the type of person I'd be very leery of," said Bob Every, the town's former police chief.
Court records show Floyd has had several run-ins with the law over the years. His record includes a 1998 conviction for attempting to knee a police trooper in the groin and a 1997 indictment, later dismissed, for being a felon in possession of weapons.
Authorities searched Floyd's cabin exactly 10 years ago this week after neighbors told then-chief Every they thought Floyd was discharging "fully automatic weapons" on his property, according to documents on file in Littleton District Court.
Floyd at one point apologized for shooting a gun, telling neighbors he was "shooting to scare off bears so his son could sleep," the documents say.
A search of his house turned up six guns, including a Glock 9mm pistol, an Ithaca 12-gauge shotgun and a Rugar Black Hawk handgun, but no automatics.
Floyd and his wife, Michelle, had moved to the area from Townsend, Mass., about six months before that. A record check in that state showed that while there had been arrests for assault with a dangerous weapon, the charges were dismissed.
One day after the May 1997 search, Floyd was charged with criminally threatening a contracted meter reader from the New Hampshire Electric Coop. Floyd allegedly instructed his son, "Go inside and get the pouch." His son, according to the report, said, "Mom is awake. I could not get the gun."
Investigating troopers claimed Floyd told them he could have given them a "third eye."
"I know you wear vests, so I could have put it right between the eyes," he said, according to the papers. "I was sitting on my Ruger."
The case was twice continued that summer. One time was because the troopers would be attending the funeral of two state troopers killed in Colebrook on Aug. 19, 1997.
Minutes before the trial was to have started in October, the case was dropped. There was a heavy police presence in the court that day.
Also in June 1997, Floyd was charged with, and later indicted for, being a felon in possession of weapons, after a records search in Georgia turned up a 1981 felony conviction for selling marijuana.
Those charges were dismissed after Floyd's attorney, Gerry Boyle, successfully argued that the Georgia conviction would not have constituted a felony in New Hampshire in 1981.
He was also charged with simple assault for attempting to knee a trooper in the groin and was given a suspended one- to three-year sentence in the New Hampshire State Prison, according to an order issued on May 28, 1998. He was placed on probation for three years, with the stipulation that he not possess any firearms.
In motions seeking the return of the firearms in August 1998, court papers noted that the guns belonged to Floyd's wife. She reportedly intended to sell some of them and have the others secured in a locked safe in Manchester.
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