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As reported by the New York Times:

FRANCONIA, N.H., May 13 — The skier Bode Miller is a proud member of the Kenney clan, which has populated this rugged mountain valley for three generations. The family is famous in the region for questioning authority, and Miller’s rise to the top of his sport extended the family’s outlaw mystique.
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Jim Cole/Associated Press

Route 116 in Franconia, N.H., where Leko Kenney, a cousin of the skier Bode Miller, fatally shot a police officer before he was shot and killed.

But the story took a dark turn Friday night, when Miller’s cousin Liko Kenney shot and killed a 48-year-old police officer, Bruce McKay, and was then killed by an area man who arrived on the scene and grabbed McKay’s gun.

It was the bloody culmination of a bitter and long-running feud that seemingly everyone in this small town knew about but no one was able to stop. The spasm of violence happened near the Kenney family compound in Easton, where Miller spent his rough-and-tumble childhood.

“We’ve got our reputation, our history as outlaws or whatever,” said Bill Kenney, a brother of Liko Kenney’s father and Bode Miller’s mother. “Bode channeled his anger into ski racing very nicely. Liko didn’t have that. He couldn’t handle his anger.”

While the confrontation left the two original antagonists dead, it has revealed deep divisions in a community where the Kenneys have often feuded with law enforcement officers.

John Lynch, the governor of New Hampshire, visited the Franconia Village Store on Saturday to speak with residents. Of the shooting of an officer, the second in the state in the past seven months, he told The Associated Press, “It really tears at the fabric of the community and the fabric of the state.” As the town prepares for two funerals, law enforcement officials and Miller’s family have closed ranks.

Miller did not return telephone calls requesting comment on Sunday, when his family was expecting him to return home from Park City, Utah. On Saturday, he announced he was leaving the United States ski team to race independently, a decision he appears to have made before the shootings.

While Liko Kenney, who was 24, is not seen here as a saint, many residents say that McKay and Kenney had feuded for years, and that their history — in and out of court — presented a conflict that made justice impossible. Kenney was convicted in 2003 of assaulting McKay and spent time in jail. Kenney claimed that McKay had attacked him and kicked him in the head, Bill Kenney said.

Upon release, Kenney was forced to wear an ankle bracelet that identified his whereabouts to the police. According to several residents of Franconia, the town’s police had agreed after that incident that if McKay ever stopped Kenney in Franconia, Kenney could ask for another officer to be brought to the scene.

On Friday evening, Kenney was driving his battered Toyota Celica with his friend Caleb Macaulay when McKay pulled him over. New Hampshire’s attorney general, Kelly Ayotte, told reporters at a news conference in Concord that Kenney asked for another officer, then drove away, with McKay in pursuit for a mile and a half. McKay pulled in front of Kenney’s car, forced it off the road and used pepper spray on Kenney and his passenger, Ayotte told reporters.

Kenney drew a handgun and shot McKay four times, then ran over him, Ayotte said, citing video from McKay’s cruiser.

At that point, another area man, Gregory Floyd, arrived on the scene with his son in their own truck. After watching the shooting, Ayotte said, he was able to pick up McKay’s gun. He then shot Kenney when, he told the authorities, Kenney refused to put down his gun. Floyd will not be charged, the authorities said.

The incident, and the decision not to charge Floyd, inflamed tensions in the area.

“If he didn’t have a grudge, he wouldn’t have pulled him over,” said Jeff Bushway, 42, an electrician from nearby Bethlehem. “If it was any other guy, would he have pulled him over and maced him for a traffic violation?”

John Moodie, 42, questioned Floyd’s actions. “What gives that guy a right to shoot the kid?” he said. “To me, he’s just as bad as the kid who shot the cop. There’s no reason.”

But Ayotte defended McKay’s actions. “This is a situation where he obviously disobeyed a police officer,” she said.

Not far away from the fatal scene is the family compound where Miller grew up, in the shadow of Cannon Mountain.

Deer hunting is popular, but most local residents say that it is rare for people to carry handguns. Easton is not known as a violent place, according to John Moodie, a resident of Littleton, a town up the interstate.

“It was all hippies,” Moodie said.

Several members of Miller’s family have been charged with possession of marijuana, including his brother Chelone, a talented snowboarder who sustained a near-fatal head injury in a motorcycle accident just before the 2005-6 season.

People who grow up around Franconia tend to be adventurous, even if they do not end up on the wrong side of the law.

Miller had his own run-in with McKay. McKay gave him a $250 speeding ticket in 2005 that Miller, already making millions of dollars, contested in court in part to “antagonize McKay,” Miller told Sports Illustrated’s Web site at the time.

One person who is outraged about the killings is Jean McLean, who works at Dutch Treat, a bar and grill that is one of the town’s primary social crossroads and has Bode Miller memorabilia on the walls.

“We didn’t have any disrespect for the cops growing up,” said McLean, who says she clashed repeatedly with McKay. “They treated us with respect, and in turn we treated them with respect.”

She added: “If you got in trouble, they’d say, let’s go see your parents about this, and that put the fear of God into you. There’s such a lack of communication now. Maybe it’s because we all work.”

McLean said there had been complaints about McKay. “There’s a lot of people in this town that really disliked him,” she said.

McKay, who was unmarried and is survived by a 10-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old stepdaughter, had been working on the town’s police force for more than a decade.

“What I knew of Bruce was that he was a very nice guy, and great with kids,” said Lynne Adams, a receptionist at the White Mountain Resort. Adams said that McKay had been the first to attend to her young son when he had a severe asthma attack.

The Kenney family arrived in the Easton valley in the middle of the last century, when Bode Miller’s grandfather Jack Kenney started the Tamarack tennis camp, and had five children — Jo, Bill, Davey, Bubba and Mike — all known for being adventurous and headstrong.

Bubba Kenney was a talented athlete, on the ski team at Middlebury College, before he drowned in a kayaking accident. Mike Kenney raced professionally as a skier before he started a business building and repairing tennis courts. He has worked at times as a coach with the United States ski team.

Liko Kenney was the son of Davey and Michelle Kenney. They lived part of the year in Hawaii at a coffee plantation, where Liko spent part of his childhood.

On Sunday, Davey Kenney’s brother Bill struggled to find solace in his nephew’s death.

“Liko was not the kind of guy who can rot in jail,” he said. “He loved his freedom.”

The story can be found at;

- Janq
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