Investigators say a Shelburne police officer was justified when he shot and wounded a man in February.
Officer Robert Barrows shot Kelley O'Brien of Burlington in the parking lot of a convenience store on Route 7. The attorney general's office says the shooting was justified because Barrows believed he was in danger. Investigators say the officer began firing as O'Brien drove at him and O'Brien was hit by a single bullet in the back as he continued past the officer.
"Our finding was that the shots were in a defensive posture while the vehicle was coming at the officer and while the officer was still in danger," said Bill Sorrell, D-Vt. Attorney General. "We actually a few years ago prosecuted criminally a deputy sheriff from up in the Northeast Kingdom for shooting at a fleeing vehicle, that was not the case here."
While the officer is not facing any sanctions, the man who was shot is. Kelley O'Brien was charged with aggravated assault and drunken driving. And because of his long criminal record he could get life in prison if convicted.