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August 9, 2019

UPDATE: Vermont State Police investigate shooting involving Montpelier Police Department


Vermont State Police investigate shooting involving Montpelier Police Department

MONTPELIER, Vermont (Friday, Aug. 9, 2019) — The investigation into Friday morning's officer-involved shooting involving members of the Montpelier Police Department is continuing, including:
  • Members of the Crime Scene Search Team are processing the incident location, on the Spring Street bridge over the Winooski River near the Main Street roundabout. The roads will remain closed until scene processing is complete, which is expected to occur later this afternoon or evening.
  • Detectives with VSP's Criminal Division are speaking with witnesses. Anyone who has information regarding the incident or who has any video is asked the call the Vermont State Police barracks in Middlesex at 802-229-9191. 
The deceased man is identified as Mark Johnson, 62, of Montpelier. The body was transported to the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Burlington for an autopsy, which determined the cause of death was two shots to the torso, and the manner of death was homicide/shot by police.

The ongoing investigation has determined that the incident began at about 5 a.m. Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, when a resident in an apartment complex near the Main Street roundabout called the Montpelier Police Department to report that a man with a knife had attempted to enter his residence before leaving the area. Two responding Montpelier police officers saw a man, later identified as Mr. Johnson, running away from the apartment complex and carrying what appeared to be a handgun. Officers repeatedly ordered Mr. Johnson to drop the gun and attempted to de-escalate the situation, offering to get help for Mr. Johnson, who was seen climbing on the railing of the bridge. After several minutes, Mr. Johnson raised the pistol in the direction of the officers, one of whom fired his patrol rifle, striking the suspect. The officers immediately rendered first aid to Mr. Johnson before EMS transported him to Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, where he was pronounced deceased.

No police officers or other individuals were injured during the incident.

The Vermont State Police responded to investigate the officer-involved shooting. Police secured the weapon, which was determined to be a Daisy Powerline pellet pistol. A photo of the pistol is attached to this release. The incident was captured on cruiser dashboard-mounted video. Montpelier police officers are not equipped with body cameras. 

Per protocol, the names of the officers are being withheld at this time. They have been placed on paid administrative leave.

Once the state police investigation is complete, it will be turned over for independent reviews by the Vermont Attorney General's Office and the Washington County State's Attorney's Office.

Other agencies assisting in the case are the Barre City Police Department and the University of Vermont Police Department. 

No further details are available at this time. 

***Initial news release, 8:45 a.m. Friday, Aug. 9, 2019***
The Vermont State Police is investigating a fatal officer-involved shooting involving members of the Montpelier Police Department. 

Preliminary investigation indicates the incident occurred shortly after 5:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, on Spring Street. The man who was shot was transported to Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin, where he was pronounced deceased.

The Vermont State Police is investigating the incident and responded with members of the Major Crime Unit, Bureau of Criminal Investigations, Crime Scene Search Team and Field Force. 

The investigation is in its earliest stages, and no further information is available. More details will be released as the investigation proceeds.   

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