Police refuse questions in deadly officer-involved shooting

Published: Sep. 5, 2017 at 4:43 PM EDT
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There are few new answers about a police-involved shooting last Friday.

It happened in Poultney and left a 32-year-old man dead.

Vermont State Police have refused to answer any of our questions about the early morning shooting, citing an ongoing investigation. They have held no press conferences and will not speak to us on camera. They continue to refer us to two press releases that offer their written narrative of what happened.

Here's what we know. Vermont State Police say Michael Battles of Poultney expressed suicidal statements from inside his home and even allegedly asked for police to take his life. Police say five troopers fired at Battles after he allegedly pointed a silver revolver toward them, a weapon later determined to have been a BB gun. Battles died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

Now, as usual in police-involved shootings, the officers have been placed on administrative leave while their decision to fire is reviewed.

We asked T.J. Donovan, D-Vermont Attorney General, what will happen next.

"We're going to let the investigation play out, and when we have a decision, we're going to be as transparent as to what that decision is and the reasons and the basis for that decision, so people can understand what happened, why it happened and what lessons, if any, we can learn from it," Donovan said.

Donovan's office will review the shooting investigation, as will the Rutland County state's attorney. We asked both offices Tuesday about the incident and both declined to comment.

After Vermont State Police told us Tuesday they wouldn't talk specifics, we wanted to ask about how they respond to these situations statewide in a general sense. When they didn't answer our emails and calls, we went to VSP headquarters in Waterbury. We wanted to learn more about how they communicate with suspects and how they make the decision as to when to breach a home or back down. But they declined to speak to us about that, too.