Burlington Police investigating 3rd homicide of year

Published: Sep. 4, 2022 at 6:54 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 5, 2022 at 8:29 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Police in Burlington are investigating a homicide-- the third in the city this year.

It happened just before 1 a.m. Sunday in City Hall Park.

Police say Bryan Rogers, 32, of Philadelphia, was shot in the head twice and died.

Police say this was a targeted attack on the victim, and despite their efforts to have more state police on Church Street over the Labor Day weekend, they say this is still happening.

“We were projecting a presence in a certain level of order, maintenance around our downtown nightlife. Then this attack happened, so this suspect bypassed all of those police officers, specifically targeted this individual,” Acting Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad said.

Police are in the earliest stages of their investigation. Since this was a targeted attack, the process to find out what happened is a little different than other recent gun violence incidents.

“Whether we can find video that tells us where our suspect came from, where did our suspect go to. We also are hopeful to get the assistance of the public. If anyone was present in the park at the time of the shooting. There were other people in the park at the time of the shooting, we would love to be able to speak to those individuals,” said Murad.

Police say there are no suspects, and they need the public’s help to track down some answers. Burlington police are working with detectives to figure out exactly what happened.

Law enforcement says this crime is more complex than the ones they have been dealing with recently, and with the uptick in gun violence in the last two years, Acting Chief Murad says it’s definitely taken a toll on the city’s police.

“It is a pace that we really can’t maintain. it is one that again we have detectives who are in here on this holiday weekend Sunday. We have officers who were held late last night. I was here both for that bar closing and then for the shooting and then I’m here now. We are working hours that are not ultimately sustainable,” Murad said.

Murad says law enforcement will continue to update the public as this investigation continues. In a statement, Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington, said, “...local, federal, and state agencies and officials, including the governor, will marshal as many patrol and investigatory resources as possible to stop the unacceptable spike in violence that we are experiencing.”

Investigators are asking anyone with information on the shooting to call the Burlington Police Department.