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Autopsy: Burlington man shot 4 times by police officer - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Autopsy: Burlington man shot 4 times by police officer

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Wayne Brunette Wayne Brunette
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Four-- that's the number of times Vermont's chief medical examiner says Wayne Brunette, 49, was shot in the torso before he was killed. The new details are part of a preliminary report released Monday. 

When shots rang out in Debi Carl's Burlington neighborhood, she could count them one by one.

"We heard the shots, you know, pop, pop, pop, pop. What we could count very quickly there were at least four shots," Carl said.

And she was right, Monday, state police confirmed four shots were fired in the officer-involved shooting on Randy Lane that killed Brunette Nov. 6.

"His body was here, and you saw police coming from this way, and this way and that way, with their guns drawn saying, 'Stay on the ground, stay on the ground, stay on the ground.' And then you saw people screaming and yelling, 'They shot him, they shot him, they shot him,'" Carl said.

The preliminary investigation also shows the bullets were fired from Cpl. Ethan Thibault's weapon.

"Four times is a lot and they shouldn't have shot him that many times," neighbor Bobbie Jo Lawrence said.

Thibault and Corporal Brent Navari responded to the scene following a 911 call to police reporting trouble at the home.

State police say Brunette came at the officers with a pointed spade shovel when he was shot, just minutes after the officers arrived.

An autopsy report reveals all four of Thibault's bullets struck Brunette's torso.

"I am sure that the police did what they should have done for a reason," Carl said.

While the investigation into the shooting isn't over, Burlington Police say both Thibault and Navari will be back on the job Tuesday.

A move some, like Randy Lane mom Bobbie Jo Lawrence, say is happening too soon.

"I think it is, I do. I think it is. I don't think they should go back to work this soon, with only a couple of weeks. I mean if the investigation is still ongoing," Lawrence said.

Carl disagrees, saying she'll be glad to see the officers back on the street.

"You can hear a pin drop morning, noon, and night in this neighborhood because of guys like the Burlington police department," Carl said.

Where folks in this traditionally quiet, close-knit neighborhood agree, is that their hearts are with the Brunettes during this difficult time.

"They have a heart just like you and I do, so at this time, especially this time of year, somebody is missing a loved one," Carl said.

Both the Burlington Police Department and Vermont State Police declined to comment on the new findings.

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