State trooper cleared in the fatal shooting of hospital executive
State trooper cleared in the fatal shooting of hospital executive

Ryan Spencer

The Keene Sentinel, N.H.


Oct. 20—CONCORD — The N.H. State Police trooper who shot and killed a Walpole man in February while responding to a domestic violence report was legally justified in firing the fatal shots, N.H. Attorney General John Formella announced Thursday.

Noah Sanctuary, who has about 14 years of law-enforcement experience, shot Christopher Tkal on Feb. 20, the Attorney General’s Office said in March. Formella said during a news conference in Concord on Thursday afternoon that his office determined the shooting was justified.

Tkal, 57, died of multiple gunshot wounds in the encounter with N.H. State Police, who were responding to a 911 call for a report of domestic violence at his home at 1461 County Road, according to the Attorney General’s Office. The call came in at around 11:15 p.m. on Feb. 19, and the shooting happened after midnight, Senior Assistant Attorney General Benjamin Agati said previously.

A loaded rifle was found under Tkal’s body, Agati said at the time. Sanctuary had been placed on leave pending the investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, as is typical following “a critical incident such as this,” a public information officer for the N.H. Department of Safety said in March. The first responding troopers did not have body or cruiser cameras, the Attorney General’s Office said in February.

At the time of his death, Tkal was employed at Cheshire Medical Center as the vice president of quality, patient safety and surgical services, a spokesperson from the Keene hospital said in February. He had worked for Cheshire Medical for seven years, the spokesperson said.

Sanctuary — whose brother is Walpole Police Chief Justin Sanctuary — has been at the scene of at least two other shootings where officers fired their weapons, according to Sentinel reporting. In 2013, he was on the scene in Walpole when police shot and killed Larry Bohannon of Grafton, N.H., who law-enforcement authorities said had robbed a Bellows Falls office supply store with a gun before leading police on a high-speed chase. The Attorney General’s Office determined that Cameron Prior, the Alstead officer who shot Bohannon, was justified in his use of deadly force.

In 2021, the N.H. State Police SWAT Team responded to Claremont when a man barricaded himself in a building. Sanctuary was one of six officers to exchange gunfire with Jeffrey Ely, who died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, a release from the Attorney General’s Office said at the time. Ely fired at multiple pedestrians before barricading himself in a warehouse, according to a report from the Attorney General’s Office. The office determined the officers acted lawfully.

Sanctuary previously worked with the Chesterfield Police Department from 2008 to 2013, as well as the Walpole Police Department from 2013 to 2016, according to Sentinel reporting.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Ryan Spencer can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1412, or Follow him on Twitter at @rspencerKS


(c)2022 The Keene Sentinel (Keene, N.H.)

Visit The Keene Sentinel (Keene, N.H.) at

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.