Local School Custodian Arrested in Manchester Shooting

A Londonderry Middle School custodian, on leave since January, will face charges for allegedly shooting a man in Manchester last week after a dispute over a car he leased for his girlfriend, a stripper he met at a motorcycle club party.

Manchester Police detained and arrested Ira Cohen, 64, of Manchester, on the scene within minutes of the shooting, which left victim Mason Pereira, 24, in serious condition.

Police responded at 7 a.m. to reports of the shooting near Maple and Hanover Streets on April 16.

Pereira was found lying in the street. He suffered several gunshot wounds and was treated at the scene before he was transported to Elliot Hospital.

Cohen admitted to shooting Pareira in the torso with a Ruger .357 revolver.

Mason Pareira’s brother, Joseph Pareira, rendered aid until police and emergency medical technicians responded. He said his brother was repeatedly saying he could not feel his legs.

Cohen was arraigned April 17 in 9th Circuit Court-Manchester District Division on five felony charges, including two counts of first-degree assault and one count of criminal threatening.

The cause of the incident is detailed in Det. Patrick Houghton’s affidavit for the arrest.

Cohen told police he began a romantic relationship with Amanda Pacheco, 25, about two years ago and began supporting her monetarily, estimating he spent about $250,000 on her, renting multiple apartments for her to live in and leasing a black Nissan Altima for her to drive.

Cohen told police he and Pacheco have falling out periods where he becomes upset with her, and he has attempted to take the vehicle back from her several times before. He told police he “had enough” and wanted to get the Nissan back from Pacheco once and for all, which prompted him to get a ride to the methadone clinic on Valley Street at 5 a.m., where he waited for Pacheco and Mason Pareira to arrive.

Cohen told police he brought the Ruger .357 with him, but couldn’t tell police why he did it, and noted he does not always bring his weapon with him.

Pacheco confirmed with police she was romantically involved with Cohen, and that he leased the vehicle for her to use because her credit was not good enough to purchase it in her name. She said she had been making monthly payments to Cohen for the vehicle and that it is hers.

On the morning of April 16, Pacheco and her boyfriend, Mason Pareira, arrived at the clinic and while inside, Joseph Pareira witnessed Cohen leaving the clinic in Pacheco’s car. He attempted to prevent Cohen from leaving by standing in front of the vehicle and banging on the hood of the car.
Cohen struck Joseph Pareira with the vehicle and drove out of the parking lot, headed north on Union Street. Mason Pareira and his brother followed Cohen and eventually caught up to him after stopping in traffic in the area of Maple Street.

Cohen told police Mason Pareira “began getting in his face, forcing him back and away from the vehicle, “and that Mason Pareira struck him in the face.”

Police observed some red abrasions under both of Cohen’s eyes.

Cohen told police that rather than flee on foot, seek the help of bystanders or engage Mason Pareira physically, he drew his firearm, pointed it at Pareira and fired twice.

Pacheco told police that after Mason and Joseph Pareira began pursuing the vehicle, she called Cohen and urged him to return the vehicle.

According to the affidavit, Cohen had spoken with police in the past about retrieving the vehicle and had received advice from a friend on how to pursue the matter legally, but he opted not to take either of those routes.

After being notified of the shooting incident, the Londonderry School District sent a notice to parents, informing them Cohen, who has worked for the District since 2007, will not be returning to work pending resolution of the incident.

Superintendent Nate Greenberg said Cohen’s being on leave prior to the shooting “had nothing to do with his performance of duties or any other criminal activity.”

“As of today, he will be on administrative leave,” Greenberg said on April 17.

He was unable to confirm at that time whether or not the School Board would need to address the issue moving forward.

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