According to court documents, Mr. Ragsdale returned home about 2:20 a.m. July 14, 2006, after a night of drinking, and apparently set off the burglar alarm in his home. An Affiliated Central employee got no answer after calling the home and then notified Shrewsbury police.
Officer Rice, then a 25-year-old rookie, and Officer Ryan Chartrand went to the Farmington Drive address and apparently set off the alarm a second time while checking the windows and doors of the residence. This time, Mr. Ragsdale answered the alarm monitoring company's call, identified himself and provided the correct security code.
Affiliated Central failed to notify Mr. Ragsdale that police had been dispatched to the home in response to the earlier alarm and failed to inform police that Mr. Ragsdale was at home and there was no burglary, according to court records.
A neighbor who had been given a key to the Ragsdale home told Officer Rice that the family was supposed to be away on vacation. While the neighbor said the silhouette of a figure that could be seen in a second-floor window appeared to be Mr. Ragsdale, Officer Rice believed the person resembled a potential suspect in recent burglaries in town.
The neighbor allowed the officers into the home and the entry tripped the alarm a third time. Hearing someone in the house, Mr. Ragsdale, who was licensed to carry a firearm, armed himself with a .380-caliber handgun. Mr. Ragsdale shot Officer Rice when he reached the darkened second-floor hallway.
While the former officer testified that he identified himself as a police officer immediately before being shot, Mr. Ragsdale disputed that in the pleadings in the case. The bullet entered the officer's abdomen, just below his bullet-proof vest.