Since 49-year-old Wayne Brunette was shot and killed in his yard Wednesday evening, many people have questioned the decision to shoot him.
More than 100 people commented on the WCAX Facebook page and website, including Dave Yergeau:
"It's unbelievable to me that lethal force was necessary in this case. A knife, a gun, an axe -- maybe, but a shovel? As lethal as a shovel could potentially be to the average citizen, I have to believe that well trained law enforcement would be capable of defending themselves by other means, disarming this guy without use of lethal force (tonfa, nightstick, Taser, etc), or talking it out with this guy rather than shoot him 2-4 times.
Heidi Lynn Latour said:
"Were their tasers broken? If they had time to pull their guns they had time to pull Tasers."
During a press conference about the shooting, WCAX asked Burlington's Police Chief Michael Schirling about the use of lethal force. "In terms of the folklore of shoot for the leg or shoot for the gun out of someone's hands... (Reporter: "or Tasers?") That is not the reality of law enforcement either in Burlington, in Vermont or anywhere else in the nation. Law enforcement officers nationwide are taught in the event that you have to use a firearm you are shooting for the center of visible mass," Chief Schirling said.
Brunette was hit in the stomach area and died at the hospital. While some people are questioning the decision to shoot him, some are also defending the officers, including Michele Pratt Wheel:
"What's funny is everyone is complaining that the police killed him, but if he had killed someone they would be blaming the police for not protecting and serving."
Chris Silfies said:
"Lets remember that no cop ever wants to kill a person. He has to now deal with the fact that he took someone's life. Lesson here when a cop tells you to drop it or stop, you do what your told. Period!"
Burlington Police Corporal Ethan Thibault and Corporal Brent Navari are both on administrative leave. State Police investigators say it will be weeks before they even get the toxicology reports back. No word how long it will take to get the final report to the state's attorney and attorney general's office.
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