4 expected to face murder charges in Burlington shootout

Published: Apr. 18, 2019 at 11:21 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

We have new information about that deadly shootout in Burlington.

Two new arrests have been made, and now four people are expected to face second-degree murder charges for the death of Benzel Hampton, 23.

The shootout happened Tuesday at about 3 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in Burlington's Old North End.

Police say the attackers were: James Felix, 36, who was shot multiple times; Brandon Sanders, 18, and Johnny Ford, 32, who were arrested last night in Connecticut; and Lesine Woodson, 32, faces accessory after the fact and second-degree murder charges. Police say Woodson waited behind the wheel to help the alleged killers get away.

Our Dom Amato spoke with Burlington's police chief and the mayor about violent crime in the Queen City.

It's been less than a month since Khyann Jones, 28, was shot in the head on Grant Street, less than a mile from Tuesday's shooting on North Willard Street.

Now, another man has been shot in the head and killed.

Two of Hampton's attackers fled the scene and the state after the shooting Tuesday. Wednesday night, police spotted a vehicle in Massachusetts driven by Brandon Sanders. They followed him to Connecticut where they arrested him.

Then, in Enfield, Connecticut, police arrested the last suspect, Johnny Ford, at a Motel 6. They say they recovered $16,000 in cash and more than 100 grams of crack cocaine in the room.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger says this shooting and the shooting in March can be unsettling for the community, but he wants everyone to know crime is actually trending down in the Queen City.

"If you're going to commit this kind of violence in Burlington, we're going to pursue you and you're going to get caught," said Weinberger, D-Burlington. "We hope that attitude helps continue what has been Burlington's very long record of being a very safe community."

The murder of Benzel Hampton happened Tuesday afternoon right after police say he completed a drug deal. As Hampton was wrestled to the ground, police say he and the attackers exchanged gunfire.

Hampton was shot in the head and died at the scene.

James Felix was shot several times. Police say Felix, Sanders and Ford then retreated to their getaway car driven by Lesine Woodson. They flagged down an ambulance to get help for Felix. At last check, he was in serious condition at the hospital in Burlington.

Woodson was arrested but by the time police arrived, Sanders and Ford were gone. Police say hours later, the men found a car to make their escape south.

Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo expects each person involved to be charged with second-degree murder.

"What the investigation is indicating so far is that the four people that we have in custody acted in concert in the murder of Benzel Hampton, one as a getaway driver, three as the people who attacked him. And if the evidence continues to bear that out, then they will continue to be charged with murder," del Pozo said.

Del Pozo says everyone involved in this shooting has a criminal footprint in Burlington. He also says they all knew each other, have connections to drugs and some are very familiar with the police.