NEWPORT — A Claremont man was arraigned Friday on felony reckless conduct charges after police said he fired more than 100 rounds during a tense seven-hour standoff in a residential neighborhood in Claremont on Thursday.
Michael E. Burns, 55, of 54 Hanover St., pleaded not guilty to four counts of reckless conduct with a deadly weapon in Sullivan County Superior Court. He is being held without bail.
A judge ordered Burns placed in preventive detention at the Sullivan County House of Correction in Unity based on “clear and convincing evidence” his release would “endanger the safety of the defendant or the public.”
His public defender is Attorney Jay Buckey. Sullivan County Attorney Marc Hathaway is prosecuting.
On Aug. 15, at 5:20 a.m., Claremont police responded to a report of gun shots fired in the vicinity of an apartment building at 54 Hanover St.
Burns is listed as a resident of Apt. 2. Police said they heard multiple shots fired inside his apartment as they began evacuating the building.
“The sound of the shots would suggest that multiple weapons were being fired by the occupant(s) of the apartment,” said Claremont Police Sgt. Trevor Dickerman, who was the first officer to arrive, in a sworn written affidavit.
Dickerman said he heard bullets “going past his location,” hitting trees, buildings, and other objects.
Police later determined Burns was wanted on a criminal warrant issued Aug. 13 out of the 5th Circuit District Division Claremont Court on two counts of simple assault and criminal threatening.
In that incident, Burns allegedly grabbed and pulled a man by the shirt and punched him in the face, causing a bloody lip.
During the alleged altercation outside the Bank of New Hampshire, police said Burns told the victim, “I’m going to kill you.”
Burns pleaded not guilty to the charges in superior court.
Police said Burns reportedly kept multiple long guns and hand guns inside a gun safe in his apartment, and that he used the safe as a barrier against law enforcement. A tactical weapons team reportedly rammed into a door of the apartment building in order to introduce tear gas.
At 1 p.m., police said they heard power tools in Burns’ apartment and suspected that he might be trying to gain entry into Apt. 1.
Police said Burns fired more than 100 rounds at local police, New Hampshire State Police, and members of a county SWAT Unit, and at various objects. The standoff ended at noon, and Burns was taken into custody.
There were no injuries reported. Burns’ next court appearance has not been scheduled.
Burns is the owner of Michael Burns Engineering LLC, a land surveying, construction and home inspection business in Waterboro, Maine.
In May 2008, he was charged with terrorizing after a six-hour standoff with police in Waterboro, Maine, but was not convicted.