Police investigate 2 incidents of gunfire in Burlington just hours apart

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 5:47 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Shots fired and stolen cars led to a busy weekend for the Burlington Police, who are now investigating two incidents of gunfire in the city on Sunday.

Acting Chief Jon Murad says police are still actively investigating and not much is known at this point.

Neighbors say something like this is not surprising.

“Yeah, every day it’s something new,” said Corey Babichuck of Burlington.

Babichuck has lived on Pine Street for about a year now. It was in that area where police say two gunfire incidents took place over the weekend, one just hours after the other.

“I wouldn’t be too surprised; it’s pretty sketchy around here, especially King Street kind of on the corner of Pine here. We’ve gotten used to people randomly coming to our house sometimes if we’re just hanging out. We got robbed late September so we’ve dealt with the cops,” Babichuck said.

The first incident Sunday occurred just after 5:30 a.m. at the intersection of Pine and Maple streets. Police say they received calls of gunshots, people yelling and vehicles speeding away from the scene.

Then at around 8:30 a.m., they responded to more gunfire a block away on Pine and King streets.

Nate Lantieri also lives in the area and says he heard the shots.

“It’s just a shame that any incidents of gun violence is happening anywhere, especially in Burlington it is rare that this happens,” Lantieri said.

Acting Chief Murad says it’s not known if these incidents are related but both also involved stolen vehicles that were recovered by police.

“What we have is people of interest who we’ve identified and we have components of crimes-- both firearms discharges, of vehicle theft-- but what we don’t have is the piece that relates those two things, that relates those two things in order to make an arrest,” Murad explained.

These incidents bring the total to five gunfire incidents in Burlington so far this year.

Burlington Police say in 2021, there were 14 gunfire incidents.

In 2020, there were a dozen.

From 2012 to 2019 the yearly average was two gunfire incidents per year.

“We hope this is not a sign of things to come,” Murad said. “We hope that this is an anomaly, randomness is lumpy and crimes happen when they happen, and we’re hopeful that this isn’t an indication that we’re going to have a really, really busy summer. But we are concerned that we will have such a busy summer.”

He says Burlington is not immune from issues of gun violence and residents are taking note of that.

“We’ve changed the locks on our doors, and then, yeah, just got cameras and really just kind of keeping an eye out for everything. Whether we’re walking to class or just going out for the night, just making sure we’re walking with someone else,” Babichuck said.

“I really love living in this neighborhood. I think there’s a lot of really great community feel to it and a lot of people that are connecting with their neighbors and things, so anytime it’s a bummer to hear that something like that happened so close to your home,” Lantieri said.

Murad says investigation is ongoing and thankfully nobody was injured as a result of the gunfire.

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