Police arrest 2 suspects in connection with St. Johnsbury shooting

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 8:26 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2022 at 5:36 PM EDT
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ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont State Police have arrested two people they say are responsible for a shooting in St. Johnsbury.

Police took Felipe Cotto Jr, 40, of Chicopee, Massachusetts, and Casey Jean Squires, 21, of Sheffield, Vermont, into custody. They say Cotto is charged with attempted second-degree murder and aggravated assault. Squires is charged with being an accessory to both charges.

Police say it happened at the Maplefields on Route 2 just before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police say Nathan Smires, 36, of Barnet, and Cotto were in the parking lot of the Maplefields in separate cars when one shot at the other. Smires was sent to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

“There was a 911 call reporting a gunshot victim and this had occurred in the parking lot. The officers from St. J arrived on scene, rescue arrived on scene. Ultimately, the PD had contacted us to take the investigation,” Vermont State Police Maj. Dan Trudeau said.

Tactical units with the state police executed a search warrant Wednesday afternoon at a home on Mathewson Hill Road in Lyndon and arrested both Cotto and Squires. They were taken to the St. Johnsbury barracks.

Trudeau says everyone involved knew each other and that both the shooter and the victim were involved with drugs.

“Our initial information is leading us to believe that there is some sort of drug nexus to this case, but to identify exactly the details-- we’re not yet able to do that,” he said.

Police said four other people inside the Lyndon home were being questioned as detectives canvassed the home for evidence. Police are also analyzing several store surveillance cameras to figure out what happened.

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