Shooting investigation continues

MANCHESTER - As the community comes to grips with what police have called an accidental shooting, the investigation continues into the Thanksgiving morning death of a young Manchester man.

Twenty-four-year-old Jeffrey Charbonneau was shot with a .22-caliber rifle Thursday morning by his friend, 23-year-old Nicholas Bell. Bell, the son of Manchester Select Board Vice Chairman Wayne Bell, thought he was holding an air gun, police said. Bell was hoping to wake Charbonneau, who was sleeping in a second-story bedroom at 121 Eagle Rise Road, with the weapon as a prank.

Bell was arrested for manslaughter Thursday and remained in jail Friday evening. His bail was set at $250,000 on Thursday. Interim Manchester Police Chief James Baker said Friday that the investigation into the shooting is continuing. The department continues to lead the investigation, he said.

Officers are conducting follow-up interviews and reviewing evidence, according to Baker. Police said on Thursday that two other people were in the home at the time of the shooting. On Friday, Baker said.

The names of the two others present were still not being released.

"I'm not quite sure at what point we will," he said.

Charbonneau and Bell both attended Burr and Burton Academy, graduating in 2005. Robert Hunter, a teacher at the school, said he remembered both men.

Charbonneau always wore a "bright expression," and was "the kind of kid you want to have in class."

"He had a wonderful energy, which was always clear in his face, in his smile, in his eyes," Hunter said. "He was one of those kids who had a lot of different sides to him, knew a lot of people."

Charbonneau played hockey and soccer at the school and "was always going to have that youthfulness that some people have," Hunter said.

The BBA community is close, Hunter said, and will help each other deal with the tragic loss of Charbonneau.

"They were buddies," Hunter said. "This whole thing is insane."


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