Police arrest suspect in Burlington, South Burlington homicides
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Two men were killed in two Chittenden County towns within hours of one another and police say the man responsible for both homicides is in custody.
Sunday at around 8:15 p.m., police in Burlington say they got calls about gunfire on Pine Street. Upon arriving, first responders found a 40-year-old man dead.
Shortly after 11 p.m., South Burlington Police responded to a report of gunfire at the Swiss Host Motel and Village on Williston Road where they also found a man with gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Monday, police said they have the shooter in custody.
Denroy Dasent, 52, of South Burlington, is charged with second-degree murder for the Burlington homicide and police say he is the primary suspect in the South Burlington homicide, though those charges have not been filed yet.
Dasent is being held without bail.
Monday, there were no visible signs outside an apartment complex of the violent death that happened less than 24 hours ago.
Neighbors say they noticed the immense police presence Sunday night but weren’t worried about their safety.
“Nothing happened before to me, to my family or my kids, so I can say that I never think something wrong,” said Kongwa Shanglume of Burlington.
Just after 8 p.m. Sunday, police got reports of shots fired at 185 Pine Street. Police say when they arrived at the apartment complex, they found Sheikhnoor Osman, 40, dead. They say he was shot several times.
Witnesses told police Dasent barged into the apartment where Osman and several other people were, and Osman was killed in the bedroom.
Three hours later, just after 11 p.m., Burlington investigators got word from South Burlington police about a deadly shooting at the Swiss Host Motel in that city.
Witnesses there positively identified Dasent as the shooter and Brian Billings, 37, as the victim.
“We issued a be-on-the-lookout or BOL for Mr. Dasent and the gold SUV he was reported to be driving. At 23:34, the suspect’s vehicle slowly drove past the Pine Street crime scene and was observed by an officer providing on-scene security at that scene,” Burlington Acting Police Chief Jon Murad said.
A Burlington officer saw Dasent at Simon’s gas station and followed him when Dasent abruptly stopped and got out of the car.
“At this point, Lt. Henry illuminated his blue lights and he stopped and exited his vehicle, as well. He ordered Mr. Dasent at gunpoint and Mr. Dasent shouted, ‘I’m not getting on the ground. You’ll have to shoot me,’ as well as a number of expletives. He then entered his vehicle and drove away,” Murad said.
Police say he was moving fast, hitting speeds of more than 60 mph weaving through city streets, until he stopped at Perkins Pier where Dasent hopped out of his car and ran off. They say he ultimately emerged near Spot on the Dock, shouting and refusing to obey officers’ commands.
“When that failed, another officer used a less lethal impact munition or LLIM, specifically a shotgun that was designed to fire beanbag rounds. The suspect was struck twice and then at that point complied and laid on the ground and was taken into custody at 23:57 hours,” Murad said.
Dasent pleaded not guilty to murder and is being held without bail at the Northwestern Correctional Facility.
Because Dasent is off the street, South Burlington police say they have plenty of time to investigate and charge him with Billings’ killing.
These two murders make 2022 the deadliest year in Vermont in at least three decades.
There have now been 18 homicides in Vermont this year. According to FBI data, that is the most in a single year in Vermont since 1992, when 21 people were murdered.
This year’s total is also 50% more than the previous 10-year average of 12 homicides per year.
Including Sunday night, there have now been four murders in Burlington this year, all by gunfire.
There have been 13 shootings in which someone was wounded or killed.
And altogether there have been 25 gunfire incidents in Burlington, more than double the record set just a year ago.
Mayor Miro Weinberger spoke about that at Monday’s press conference.
“I do promise that we will continue to relentlessly deploy new resources seek new partnerships and pursue new strategies until we restore the level of public safety and low rate of violent crime that Burlingtonians have long-known and enjoyed,” said Weinberger, D-Burlington.
Police say there have been arrests in eight of the 13 shootings this year in which someone was wounded or killed.
We also learned today that Sunday night’s shootings have ties to other recent crimes in the city.
The victim in the Pine Street murder, Sheikhnoor Osman, had already been shot one other time this year. Police say Osman was involved in a shootout in Burlington’s City Hall Park back in May where he was struck in the head. Police have not found the person who shot him in that case.
Another connection revealed Monday is the murder suspect, Denroy Dasent, is a suspect in another City Hall Park gunfire incident from just last week. In that case, no one was injured.
In a third connection to recent crimes, police say Ashley Richards, 39, was among the people in the Pine Street apartment Sunday night when Osman was shot. Police say Richards is wanted for assaulting and robbing a man in a wheelchair at a Burlington ATM last week.
Acting Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad noted the investigation was an all-hands-on-deck effort with multiple law enforcement agencies lending support.
You can watch the full news briefing in the player below.
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