Police release identities of Bennington homicide victim, suspect
BENNINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A suspect is on the run after a shooting in Bennington and police say he is considered armed and dangerous.
Police say Patrick Mullinnex, 38, of Springfield, Vermont, was shot dead inside of a Bennington apartment on Wednesday, and the incident has shaken up the community.
“There are lots of upset and angry people in Bennington about this,” Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette said.
It happened at 324 Pleasant Street Apartment 1 around 9 a.m. on Wednesday.
Police say they were called for reports of shots fired, and a man with a gunshot wound to the chest.
When police arrived, they say they found Mullinnex dead inside.
“That apartment is used by a member of our community that is currently on parole, supervised by the Vermont Department of Corrections and was not home at the time. What exactly Mr. Mullinnex was doing at that apartment is still under investigation at this time,” Doucette said.
The chief says Raul Cardona, 28, of Springfield, Massachusetts, is believed to be the shooter and he is on the run.
Doucette says Cardona was on their radar screen before the shooting.
“Mr. Cardona is someone that we have been investigating for the suspected sale and distribution of illicit narcotics in our area, and he is someone that is known to us as being a dangerous individual,” Doucette said.
According to our affiliate in western Massachusetts, Cardona is a convicted felon who was arrested on July 17 in Connecticut. Police there say Cardona had a loaded handgun, heroin and fentanyl, and more than $2,000 in cash.
Police believe Cardona is armed and dangerous and may have fled to Massachusetts after the shooting.
After conducting search warrants, Chief Doucette says police found drugs and cash inside the Bennington apartment, but he wouldn’t say if this is a drug-related killing. He does say it is part of a violent trend in Bennington.
“We’ve had several shooting incidents where people have fired into homes, fired at people and this violent crime has got to end. And it does revolve around the drug trade and the illicit sale of narcotics,” Doucette said.
The chief says they are working with Homeland Security and Massachusetts law enforcement to find Cardona and bring him back to Vermont.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Bennington Police at 802-442-1030 or through their website.
Copyright 2022 WCAX. All rights reserved.