The tiny town of Franconia, N.H., has an impressive history. For years, Franconia sat in the shadow of one of the world's most famous rock formations, the craggy face known as the Old Man of the Mountain, until the rocks tumbled down in 2003 wiping out the old man.
Renowned poet Robert Frost penned his inspirational poems at nearby Sugar Hill. And skiing's bad boy Bode Miller learned his sport at Franconia's Cannon Mountain.
But now, Franconia, nestled in the middle of New Hampshire's White Mountains, will be known for something else: a double shooting involving Miller's cousin, 24-year-old Liko Kenney, and a veteran police officer, 48-year-old Cpl. Bruce McKay, that left both men dead and the town of Franconia torn apart.
The bare facts of the case were outlined at a news conference by New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte.
On Friday, Ayotte said, Kenney was driving home from his job at an Agway. McKay turned on his sirens and pulled him over. No one seems to know the reason, Ayotte told reporters. But Kenney sped off with McKay in hot pursuit. McKay eventually forced Kenney off the road and unloaded a can of pepper spray on Kenney and his friend, Caleb Macaulay. That's when Kenney pulled a gun and shot the officer four times and then ran him over, according to Ayotte, who reviewed the video from McKay's dashboard camera. Greg Floyd, who witnessed the shooting, picked up McKay's gun and shot Kenney, after he says Kenney refused to drop his gun. Floyd is not expected to be charged with a crime.
Those are the facts, but there's much more to this story as just about anyone in Franconia will tell you.
The Miller and Kenney families are well known around this area. For the last 60 years, they have lived in a family compound just off Route 116 that houses a tennis camp, a barn and various rugged, wooden cabins.
One of those cabins, without heat or indoor plumbing, famously housed a young Bode Miller. Liko Kenney lived there, too. Liko seemed to thrive on a rustic lifestyle, having just made it through a tough New England winter, on his own, in an unheated cottage.
His uncle Bill Kenney, 56, described his nephew as "a dreamer. He loved it here. This was his home. He was so proud of himself for living on his own this winter and fending for himself."
Fending for themselves seemed to be in the family DNA. Jack Kenney, Bode's grandfather, moved to Easton in the 1940s. He had five children, Bill; Jo, Bode's mother; Bubba; Mike; and Davey, Liko's father.
The clan seemed to personify that independent, thumb-your-nose-at-authority spirit that New Hampshire is known for. This is a state after all whose license-plate motto reads "Live Free or Die." Bill said, "We moved here to live off the land. We do things on our own."
Bill said that his nephew had several run-ins with Cpl. Bruce McKay in the past and that he "wasn't a big fan of authority figures but. … That could describe pretty much everyone around here." Kenney said his nephew was afraid of McKay.
"McKay was a bully with a badge. … He was a rogue cop. Liko was driven to a point where he snapped. This police officer had been tormenting him for three or four years. … Liko was in constant fear."
It's pretty clear there was a history of bad blood between Liko and McKay that people here say seems to have stemmed from an incident in 2003, when McKay tried to arrest Liko for suspected illegal drug use.