Editor’s note: This article was updated at 6:05 p.m. July 8 with information from a 3 p.m. Vermont State Police press briefing.
Vermont State Police say they are investigating an officer-involved shooting in which Rutland City officers shot and wounded a man early Wednesday morning.
The man who was shot, Michael Goodnough, 45, was taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center, underwent surgery, and is currently recovering in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Major Dan Trudeau of the Vermont State Police said his department has yet to interview Rutland City police officers, but recounted the series of events as described to him by Rutland City Police Chief Brian Kilcullen.
According to Kilcullen’s account, the incident began around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday when Rutland City officers were conducting a drug investigation involving the vehicle occupied by Goodnough and Vadriel in the lot between Tops Market and Terrill Street Discount Store in Rutland.
Trudeau says he believes five officers, whose names will be released in the coming days as the investigation moves forward, were present at the scene.
The officers identified themselves to Goodnough and Robert Vadriel, 32. The vehicle then struck one of the officers. The officer was treated for minor injuries. Some time between the vehicle’s collision with the officer and its exit from the lot, officers shot at the car.
Following the incident, one officer has been placed on paid administrative leave.
Trudeau is unsure whether Goodnough and Vadrial were otherwise armed.
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“I can tell you it doesn’t appear so, but I can also tell you that we haven’t searched the car yet to verify that,” he told reporters.
Goodnough was indicted on Oct. 9, 2018 for distribution of cocaine, and was scheduled for court-ordered treatment programs throughout the last year, according to court documents. He attended a hearing on July 1, and was placed on pretrial release and instructed to “continue with efforts for residential treatment admission.”
A statement issued by state police Wednesday afternoon said the forthcoming investigation will involve “reviewing available video of the incident, including from police dashboard cameras and nearby surveillance systems.” Trudeau said he did not know Wednesday whether officers were wearing body cameras.
The shooting preceded a pursuit of about a half mile on Route 7 in Rutland, known locally as Main Street, where Goodnough proceeded to crash into a tree near the intersection with Jackson Avenue.
Vadriel was riding in the car’s passenger seat when it crashed. Vadriel was injured and taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center, then transferred to University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, but is also expected to recover, state police said Wednesday.
The car, a black Infinity SUV, remained crumpled on the lawn of a home located at the intersection of Route 7 and Jackson Ave for the entirety of the morning. Route 7, from Madison Street to Strongs Avenue in Rutland, was closed to traffic Wednesday morning as the investigation continued, sending streams of cars down side streets.
Wednesday afternoon, state police investigators swept the premises of the parking lot on Terrill Street where the shooting took place. Two blue sandals lay scattered amongst what appeared to be pieces of a vehicle and a pile of debris from a broken fence that borders Terrill Street Discount.
Per protocol, state police are conducting an investigation into the shooting. Once complete, that investigation will be provided to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and Rutland County State’s Attorney’s Office for independent reviews regarding the use of force.
Goodnough’s cousin, Andy Grandchamp, lives near the location of the crash. Though he slept through the incident, he recognized the vehicle when he awoke Wednesday morning.
“There’s a lot of sadness in this world,” he said, standing outside his home near police tape.
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