Rutland man shot by police during drug investigation

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 6:46 AM EDT
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A drug investigation led to a police-involved shooting and a car chase in Rutland early Wednesday morning. Our Olivia Lyons has been following the story and has an update.

The shooting happened in the parking lot next to TOPS Friendly Market. Police tell us Rutland City officers were conducting a drug investigation on two men in a car.

The driver, Michael Goodnough, 45, of Rutland, allegedly fled the scene, striking an officer with his vehicle. That's when police opened fire.

Goodnough drove South on Route 7 for about half a mile before crashing into a tree on the corner of South Main Street and Jackson Avenue.

Goodnough was found with gunshots and is currently in stable condition at the Rutland Regional Medical Center.

His passenger, Robert Vandriel, 32, also of Rutland, was taken to UVM Medical Center for injuries sustained during the crash.

The officer hit by the vehicle had minor injuries.

Vermont State Police say five officers were at the first scene and none have been interviewed yet. That should happen in the next few days.

They have also been canvassing the area and looking for any security footage from nearby businesses.

"I do not believe there was any body cameras used by any of the officers. There may have been one dash cam but we haven't verified that yet," Vt. State Police Maj. Dan Trudeau said. "I just spoke with Chief Kilcullen and at this time only one officer is on an administrative leave-type status."

Police say Goodnough and Vandriel were interviewed and they are cooperating. Investigators say it doesn't appear Goodnough and Vandriel were armed, but the vehicle they were in still needs to be searched.

This is not the first time Goodnough has been involved with the Rutland City Police. Back in 2018, Goodnough, pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of negligent driving while attempting to elude a law enforcement officer. And Goodnough is currently on pretrial release for a federal case.

It's the second officer-involved shooting in Rutland in less than a year. The attorney general in February said four Rutland County police officers were justified in the October 2019 shooting that killed Christopher Louras, the former Rutland mayor's son.

A homicide investigation continues into the death of Christopher Louras' cousin, Nicholas Louras, who was found dead with gunshot wounds in Salisbury the same day as that shootout in Rutland. Lab test confirmed Christopher Louras shot his cousin but police have not yet determined a motive for the shooting.

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