Crime and Justice

Burlington police make arrest in June parking garage gunfight

A Burlington police cruiser is seen outside City Hall in May. File photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Burlington police have arrested Badal Khadka, 19, of Essex Junction in connection with a gunfire exchange that took place in June in a downtown parking garage, according to a press release issued Wednesday. 

The arrest was made Aug. 5, one day after Khadka was indicted in federal court for allegedly making a false statement to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent, according to a separate release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In the same indictment, Aaron Dang, 19, of Burlington was charged with unlawful possession of a stolen firearm, the release stated. Both men were released from federal custody on conditions while awaiting trial. 

The federal indictment was unrelated to the parking garage incident, according to Burlington police.

On June 18, Burlington police responded to calls about gunshots and people screaming near the Marketplace parking garage. The suspects apparently fled before police arrived. At the time, police said they did not believe anyone had been struck by a bullet.

In July, Burlington detectives identified Kobe Loftus, 23, of Middlebury as a participant in the gunfire exchange. Loftus was cited last month, though police subsequently identified Khadka as the “primary aggressor,” according to the Burlington police press release. 

According to police, Khadka entered the parking garage on South Winooski Ave accompanied by others and got into a verbal dispute with Loftus and others there with him. The verbal dispute ended and both parties disengaged, but then Khadka returned with a gun and fired shots toward Loftus, and Loftus returned fire, according to the press release.

Khadka was arraigned in state court on Monday, charged with aggravated assault with a weapon and reckless endangerment, the release stated. 

The court denied a request from the Chittenden County State’s Attorney office that Khadka be held without bail, instead releasing him on conditions. They include an all-day curfew with certain exceptions and an indefinite restriction on “buying, having or using any dangerous/deadly weapons.” Khadka is also barred from contacting the other parties involved in the gunfire exchange and from engaging in “violent or threatening behavior.”

Khadka faces prison time of up to five years on the federal charge of giving a false statement to the ATF agent. 

Dang faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the charge of possessing a stolen firearm.

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Kori Skillman

About Kori

Kori Skillman recently earned a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, with a focus on visual craft and short documentary. She also holds degrees in journalism and international business from San Diego State University. Kori worked this year as a press intern at the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

Email: [email protected]

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