Kyle Bolaski, 24, told police he thought he was the one who was going to be killed. Bolaski says that's why he pulled out a high-powered rifle from his truck and fatally shot Vincent Tamburello, 32.
The shooting happened at a ball field in Chester Sunday.
Crime scene investigators were there Monday morning as well as those trying to make sense of what happened the night before.
"This is Chester, Vermont. It is a small town and everybody is friends with everybody," said Mikala Bates, a friend of Bolaski.
According to court documents, the victim was armed with an axe, and went to the field looking to settle a score from a day earlier-- Tamburello had gotten into a fight with one of Bolaski's friends. Court papers say that when Tamburello showed up a the field, Bolaski and several other people confronted him. Police say Tamburello began to chase Bolaski with the axe.
"He is able to get a gun out of the truck, and he is pleading with the decedent to stay away. There is one shot fired," Bolaski's lawyer Kevin Griffin said.
Papers state that Bolaski hit the victim in the leg with that bullet. Prosecutors say that shot was justified because there was "adequate provocation."
"Once, the deceased had been hit, the situation changed," said Windsor County State's Attorney Robert Sand.
But Sand says that after the victim was hit once, Bolaski did not need to fire a second shot.
"The deceased stopped pursuing the defendant. And was no longer brandishing the axe," Sand said.
Bolaski also faces an aggravated assault charge because papers state he hit the victim in the face with the butt end of his gun after the second shot was fired.
But some friends say that given the situation, Bolaski had no choice.
He pleaded not guilty to the two charges and is being held on $100,000 bail.