Burlington man charged with attempted murder in early morning shooting

Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 5:52 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 5, 2021 at 7:59 AM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A Burlington man faces attempted murder charges following a shooting early Friday that sent a woman to the hospital.

It happened just after 2 a.m. at a home on Walnut Street in the city’s Old North End. Police say they responded to a home after a report of gunfire.

“They had everything shut down and they were basically going back and forth, in and out,” said Jeff Hatin, who lives across the street. He says he didn’t hear anything, but woke up to blue lights. “When that shows up in the morning it’s like well, ok, and what’s going on.”

“Officers responded, found the female victim shot in the leg, applied tourniquets, got a description, and canvassed the location,” said Acting Burlington Police Chief John Murad. The victim, who has not been identified, was taken to the hospital and is in stable condition.

While on scene, police say they discovered a suspect in the area in a car. “There was a short vehicle pursuit that ended on Riverside Avenue,” Murad said.

Video obtained by WCAX shows officers converging on Riverside Avenue prior to the arrest.

After a short pursuit, they say the suspect, later identified as Zakaria Hassan, 31, crashed and rolled his car. Murad say they tazed Hassan after he resisted officers and was seen holding a gun. “Ultimately, their commands are followed, the individual no longer holds the firearm and comes out of the vehicle,” he said.

Hassan faces attempted murder charges. Police say they don’t know at this point how many shots were fired or if the gun Hassan had when he was arrested was used in the shooting. Police are also not sure of the motive. They say the victim and suspect knew each other, but they don’t consider this a domestic incident. “We are working on the circumstances surrounding the incident and what drove it,” Murad said.

Police say the shooting took place near a busy park and close to a school, something they are exploring that could lead to additional charges.

Police also confirmed that the house where the shooting took place is the same one where a federal drug sweep happened in the fall and that the same residents live there.

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