"I've seen the guy around, I've never seen him hurt anybody. I just don't understand how it escalated so quickly into what it was," said Jeremy Sterling.
The scene stunned witnesses and was partially caught on tape.
A call Thursday to Winooski police claimed 35-year-old Isaac Sage was trespassing at the Woolen Mill Apartment Complex. Officers Jason Nokes and Chris Machavern found the suspect at the intersection of West Allen and Weaver Streets.
When they approached him, police say Sage became agitated and punched Nokes in the face, giving the officer a concussion and breaking his nose. Things escalated from there.
"Obviously it's pretty rare to see this occur, but we want to make sure everything was followed by the book and the use of force was justified," said Chittenden County State's Attorney, T.J. Donovan.
Police say Machavern hit Sage twice with a taser without it causing any effect. Police say Sage continued to resist arrest. Nokes then shot Sage in the thigh.
"Police officers have a hard job. They work very hard and very rarely do they discharge their firearm, only in extraordinary circumstances. So, we'll get the facts and we'll figure out what happened here," said Donovan.
In the meantime, Sage is being held on $10,000 bail until he completes a mental health evaluation.
But prosecutors say it's better for Sage and society to have him behind bars.
"He's delusional and there's real concerns for Mr. Sage's mental health and his capacity to understand what's going on. And obviously that's a concern not only for Mr. Sage but for the community," said Donovan.
But witnesses say otherwise.
"There's another side of the story that I didn't see beforehand. But what I saw from my window up there to down here, just seemed a little much," said Sterling.
Vermont State Police are investigating whether the actions of Nokes and Machavern were justified. After that there will also be independent reviews by the Chittenden County Prosecutor's office and the Vermont Attorney General.
In the meantime, both officers are on leave. But this is not the first time Nokes has been on leave. Back in 2011, he was found passed out drunk behind the wheel of his truck, four times over the legal limit.
Friday, December 6 2013 11:16 PM EST2013-12-07 04:16:55 GMT
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over. The incident happened on Route 105 in Berkshire late Friday afternoon. AuthoritiesMore >>
A Connecticut man is charged with DUI after police say he admitted to overdosing on prescribed Ritalin when he was pulled over.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:03 PM EST2013-12-07 03:03:22 GMT
In Dorset, a car crashed into a bank and there was no drive-through lane.The car jumped the curb in front of the Berkshire Bank Friday morning, taking out a railing and getting hung up on the front steps.More >>
In Dorset, a car crashed into a bank -- and there was no drive-through lane. More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:01 PM EST2013-12-07 03:01:17 GMT
The longtime bookkeeper at Cold Hollow Cider Mill is expected to plead guilty to embezzling from the business and a local youth hockey program.Cold Hollow in Waterbury is one of Vermont's top tourist attractions.More >>
The longtime bookkeeper at Cold Hollow Cider Mill is expected to plead guilty to embezzling from the business and a local youth hockey program.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 10:00 PM EST2013-12-07 03:00:14 GMT
Police in Burlington say they've caught an armed robber.Investigators arrested Tyran Sprauve, 19, Friday afternoon for assault and robbery. Police say last month he and two other men broke into a homeMore >>
Police in Burlington say they've caught an armed robber.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 9:59 PM EST2013-12-07 02:59:17 GMT
A Claremont, New Hampshire couple is behind bars, charged with sexually assaulting two children under the age of five.Police say 25-year-old Kevin Blood and his 25-year-old wife, Ashley, were arrestedMore >>
A Claremont, New Hampshire couple is behind bars, charged with sexually assaulting two children under the age of five.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 9:40 PM EST2013-12-07 02:40:47 GMT
College students at St. Mike's have some strong words for Vermont's Senators. The groups of young people are part of a national organization known as the Student Global AIDS Campaign. Friday they marchedMore >>
Leahy spokesman says students mininformed on Senator's record.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 9:01 PM EST2013-12-07 02:01:01 GMT
In Burlington's Old North End there are still hints of what used to be -- a bustling Little Jerusalem years go. But one symbol of the area's past is not so obvious."It's priceless, it literally is oneMore >>
In Burlington's Old North End there are still hints of what used to be -- a bustling Little Jerusalem years go. But one symbol of the area's past is not so obvious.More >>
Friday, December 6 2013 8:50 PM EST2013-12-07 01:50:18 GMT
It's that time of the week when almost everybody says TGIF. It's the first weekend in December and that has special meaning for Plattsburgh residents like Leigh Mundy, who loves spending time in the city.More >>
A tradition in the making for Plattsburgh -- it's called First Weekends. The idea is to have a special event in downtown Plattsburgh the first weekend of every month.More >>