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Late-night shooting in downtown Burlington strikes bystander

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Updated: Jun. 5, 2021 at 9:00 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Burlington police are asking for the public’s help for information regarding a shooting where a bystander was struck by a bullet after a shooting in Burlington’s City Hall Park early on Saturday morning at around 2:45 a.m.

According to the Burlington Police Department, two men were engaged in an altercation near Church and Main streets. One of the men produced a firearm once the altercation moved to an entrance to City Hall Park.

Police say that the individual discharged his firearm once and did not strike the other individual who then fled.

The bullet, however, appears to have struck a metal railing alongside city hall, then struck a bystander. Police say the bullet lost nearly all its energy and only caused a minor non-penetrative injury.

Burlington Police say no calls were made about the incident to them until 3:09 a.m. even though a great number of people heard the gunfire and the bystander knew he had been struck by something.

They also wrote that because of staffing levels, officers who would normally be posted at Church and Main Streets for bar closing are instead now assigned to mobile cruisers.

Acting Chief John Murad said, “Gunfire in Burlington is unacceptable, but it’s becoming less uncommon,” said acting Chief of Police Jon Murad. “This morning, the laws of physics and ballistics prevented us from having a more seriously injured innocent bystander. I’m hopeful that we can identify the shooter in this incident and that the laws of Vermont will kick in to prevent him hurting other people. To do that, we need our neighbors’ help—not just with this investigation, but with changing attitudes upstream of incidents like this one, so that gunfire will once again become as uncommon as it used to be.”

If anyone has any information on the incident is asked to contact BPD at (802) 540-2288.

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