Officer-involved shooting in St. Albans

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ST. ALBANS, Vt. (WCAX) A St. Albans man will be in court today following an alleged encounter with police Tuesday night that ended in gunfire.

Video exclusively obtained by WCAX News shows a troubling situation just after police returned shots on Lincoln Ave. Witnesses who heard the whole thing go down say they were afraid.

"We heard like five or six gunshots and just ran inside the house," said Amanda Wells of St. Albans.

"I don't know how many he took, but he was on the sidewalk just screaming for it to end. It was not a pleasant thing to listen to," said Tom Searles who is also a St. Albans resident.

Police say Jack LaPlant, 26, was first arrested Monday evening for domestic assault at a residence on Lincoln Ave. He was arraigned and released on conditions on Tuesday when at around 6 p.m., investigators say he was seen walking down the street wearing all black and carrying an assault rifle.

"He was ordered not to be within 300 feet of the residence. The supervisor felt he was walking toward that residence at the time they encountered him," said St. Albans Police Chief Gary Taylor.

When police arrived on the scene there were already reports of shots fired. When police located LaPlant, they say he took a defensive position and opened fire.

"As the officers were attempting to approach the individual and trying to call out commands, he fired off another shot and two officers returned fire," said Taylor.

LaPlant was taken to the hospital and is being treated. Vermont State Police are now leading the investigation.

"Our major crime unit will lead this investigation as they do all other officer-involved shootings in Vermont," said Maj. Glen Hall of the Vermont State Police.

People WCAX spoke with who live in the neighborhood say it is not safe.

"I got to get these kids out of here. Myself, I can handle it. They shouldn't have to," said Searles.

"This street is known for not being the best street," said Wells

The chief disagrees.

"It's as safe as any street. I don't feel it's an unsafe street, there has been some activity here over the last few years as there has been everywhere," said Taylor.

The two St Albans Police officers involved will be put on paid leave. They were brought to the hospital, but we are told they are not injured as a result of any gunfire.

LaPlant will be arraigned Wednesday on charges of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and a violation of an abuse prevention order. He is currently being held without bail at the Northwestern State Correctional Center.