Vermont State Police provides update on fatal trooper-involved shooting in Orange

ORANGE, Vermont (Wednesday, June 12, 2024) Vermont State Police — The investigation into Wednesday afternoon’s fatal police shooting in the town of Orange remains active and ongoing.

Initial work by detectives has determined the following:

A state trooper based at the Berlin Barracks was responding to a call requesting a welfare check at 87 Spencer Rd. in Orange when he encountered a man who appeared unconscious sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle. The trooper suspected drug use, called dispatch and requested rescue crews respond for a possible overdose. The trooper also observed a sawed-off shotgun in the vehicle near the man.

The trooper began to attempt to speak with the man, and he regained consciousness. The trooper repeatedly ordered the man to step out of the vehicle. After repeated commands from the trooper, the man eventually exited the vehicle. A struggle then occurred between the man and the trooper while the trooper was attempting to secure the shotgun from within the vehicle. During the struggle, the trooper discharged his department-issued firearm, striking the man. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police have tentatively identified the man as a resident of central Vermont in his early 40s. His name will be released following confirmation of identity, autopsy at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington, and notification of relatives.

The trooper involved in this incident has been placed on paid relief-from-duty status, per standard procedure following a critical incident.

The Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit investigates all officer-involved shootings that occur in the state. When the investigation is complete, the case will be turned over to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and the Orange County State’s Attorney’s Office for independent reviews of the use of lethal force.

The Vermont State Police received assistance in this investigation from the Barre Town and Berlin police departments and the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

This is the first fatal shooting involving a member of the Vermont State Police since July 2022.

The state police will continue to provide updates as the investigation unfolds.

***Update No. 1, 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, 2024***

Capt. Jeremy Hill, commander of the Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit, will be available to discuss this ongoing investigation with members of the media at 9:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Berlin Barracks, 578 Paine Turnpike North.

***Initial news release, 4:25 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, 2024***

The Vermont State Police is investigating an incident in which a man was shot and killed by a state trooper Wednesday afternoon, June 12, 2024, in the town of Orange.

The shooting occurred at about 1:25 p.m. outside a home on Spencer Road. The man was pronounced deceased on scene. His identity is unknown at this time. The trooper was uninjured but was brought to Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin for evaluation as a precaution.

This investigation is in its earliest stages and involves detectives with the Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit and Bureau of Criminal Investigations, uniformed troopers from Field Force Division, and the Victim Services Unit. The Crime Scene Search Team will respond to the location of the shooting to process the scene.

The body of the deceased man will be brought to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death, and to assist in determining identity.

Following standard protocol, the state police will release the name of the trooper who fired his weapon the day after the shooting.

Anyone with information that could assist in this investigation is asked to call the state police barracks in Berlin at 802-229-9191, or provide an anonymous tip online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

No additional information is available at this time. VSP will provide updates as the investigation continues.

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