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Juvenile charged with 2 murder counts in deadly Alton, N.H., shooting

Both victims died as a result of single gunshot wounds to the head, autopsy reports state.

ALTON, N.H. — A juvenile faces two charges of second-degree murder in connection with a New Hampshire shooting that left both a woman and a man dead.

According to the state attorney general's office, the body of Lizette Eckert, 50, was found at 76 Dobbins Way in Alton sometime after 7:30 a.m. Friday, which is when local police responded to a reported shooting at the residence.

James Eckert, 48, was also found at the Dobbins Way home. He died the next day at Portsmouth Regional Hospital.

Autopsy reports stated both Lizette Eckert and James Eckert died as a result of single gunshot wounds to the head.

A search for the suspect Friday ensued in the area surrounding the home and involved both Alton police and a SWAT team. At about 9:30 a.m., two hours after law enforcement's initial response, a juvenile was taken into custody.

Under juvenile law, the child was initially charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. Following James Eckert's death, which was ruled a homicide Friday after the release of his autopsy results, an additional count of second-degree murder was brought forward Tuesday.

Due to the suspect being a juvenile, an age in which state law prohibits further information from being released, details about the person were unavailable.

An initial report from a local newspaper referred to the child as an 11-year-old, however, NEWS CENTER Maine was unable to independently confirm this.

Public records information indicates Lizette Eckert had family ties to a South Portland address, currently a chiropractic office. Eckert's social media accounts appear to show she worked at a chiropractic facility at that same address.

Asst. Attorney General Geoffrey W.R. Ward, chief of New Hampshire's Criminal Justice Bureau, spoke to reporters Friday night during a press conference held at the Alton Town Hall. He called the incident "incredibly tragic."

"We respond to all matters of incidents, whether they involve juvenile perpetrators — and we've had multiple incidents of juvenile perpetrators this year, as well as incredibly tragic homicides situations," Asst. AG Ward said. "This is an incredibly tragic homicide situation."

Ward was unable to comment on the relationship between the two victims and the charged juvenile, whether there were any previous calls or responses to the home, the child's current health status or whereabouts, the type of firearm used and its accessibility or how the suspect was identified.

Early on in the investigation, the AG's office assured the public there was no apparent threat. Out of precaution, schools in the area underwent soft lockdowns and those measures were lifted by afternoon, the Associated Press reports.

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact New Hampshire State Police Det. Sgt. William Bright at 603-223-4381.