Man shot in head during Burlington shootout, businesses damaged

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 6:51 AM EDT|Updated: May. 23, 2022 at 5:46 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Police are investigating a possible shootout in Burlington’s City Hall Park.

This latest incident of gunfire in the Queen City happened in City Hall Park early Monday morning.

Police are still working to determine what led up to the shooting and they say the investigation is still in the early stages and nobody is in custody at this time.

Burlington Acting Police Chief Jon Murad says the recent uptick in gunfire downtown is concerning.

“Are we troubled that there have been an increase in them? Yeah, we are. And this isn’t the kind of number that we want to see,” Murad said.

This comes as Burlington Police are investigating their 10th gunfire incident of the year.

Police say it happened in City Hall Park just after 4 a.m. Monday. They believe two people shot at each other with handguns.

“Officers responded and found the person who called us, and as well as an injured party,” Murad said.

That injured man was shot in the head. Police say he’ll be OK.

Some stores got hit, too. The shots left downtown businesses with bullet holes in windows, both at Burton and the Community Bank. Bank employees say the bullet went through the window and lodged inside of the wall behind it. Bank employees were instructed not to talk on camera. Burton was closed for the day.

Scott Jarvis of Colchester visits downtown Burlington often but isn’t sure he will continue to come down as much.

“It shouldn’t be that you have to have eyes on the back of your head any time you want to enjoy City Hall Park or the Marketplace,” Jarvis said. “We’re living in what’s becoming the Wild West here where people are getting shot and stabbed all the time. It’s becoming the new norm.”

According to Acting Police Chief Murad and Mayor Miro Weinberger, these incidents are often between groups of people who know each other. The mayor says the city is doing all it can but they need help.

“There’s all sorts of work that needs to be done to make Vermont and America safer with respect to gun violence. That kind of incident points to the kind of policy changes that we need to see lawmakers in Montpelier and at the national level take,” said Weinberger, D-Burlington.

“We do have plans,” Murad said. “We’ve been talking to various partners including federal partners and other law enforcement about how we approach these kinds of incidents.”

This shooting comes just three days after the mayor and the chief released their public safety plan for downtown. It’s important to note that during the overnight shift in the city, only two officers are on patrol.

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