Crime and Justice

Burlington police officer shoots man in leg

Acting Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad speaks at a press conference in May. An unidentified Burlington officer shot a man in the leg on Saturday afternoon during an encounter in the city's Old North End. File photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Updated Monday at 8:47 a.m.

A Burlington police officer shot a 20-year-old man in the leg Saturday afternoon in the city’s Old North End, according to Vermont State Police.

David Johnson suffered injuries that were not considered to be life threatening and was being treated at the University of Vermont Medical Center, police said.

Vermont State Police are investigating the incident, which began when three Burlington officers responded shortly before 3 p.m. to an “unspecified emergency” at 249 Manhattan Drive, where Johnson lives, according to a state police press release. “He was carrying a large kitchen knife and had made statements about wanting to end his life,” police wrote.

Police, who knew Johnson from previous interactions, “attempted to establish a rapport” with him to “de-escalate the situation,” police wrote. About four minutes into the encounter, Johnson charged at an officer, prompting one to deploy an electrical weapon and another to fire his handgun, they said.

Johnson, who was struck by a bullet in his upper left leg, was stabilized on scene before being taken to the hospital, police said.

Gunfire struck two occupied vehicles parked on the street, police said. One passenger “received minor injuries from shattered glass” but declined to be taken to the hospital.

Vermont State Police on Sunday afternoon identified the officer who shot Johnson as 30-year-old Simon Bombard, who has worked for the department for seven years. Bombard has been placed on paid administrative leave, per Burlington police policy. The Vermont Attorney General’s Office and Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office will review whether use of force was justified.

Also on Saturday, Vermont State Police deployed 10 troopers downtown overnight in response to a request from Acting Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad following a separate shooting on Main Street early Saturday morning, in which two men were injured.

“The goal of (Saturday night’s) detail is to supplement Burlington Police Department staffing and provide a high-visibility police presence in the city center during the particularly busy late-night and early morning hours,” Vermont State Police wrote in a press release about the deployment.

The deployed troopers would not “respond to routine calls for service or provide enforcement of minor infractions,” state police said, and the patrols “do not represent an ongoing duty assignment.”

“The state police will evaluate on a case-by-case basis any future requests for assistance by BPD,” they said.

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Maggie Cassidy

About Maggie

Maggie Cassidy is deputy managing editor at VTDigger. Prior to joining the publication, she served as editor of the Valley News in the Upper Valley, where she also had worked as web editor and a reporter. She previously spent time reporting in the Boston area and Hawaii.

Email: [email protected]

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