Vt. state trooper on paid leave after Rockingham shooting

ROCKINGHAM, Vt. (WCAX) A Vermont state trooper involved in the shooting of a suspect Saturday in Rockingham has been placed on paid leave this week as the investigation into the incident continues.

State Police say Sgt. Eugene Duplissis shot a man who was on the run for nearly 12 hours. Duplissis has been with the Vermont State Police since 2001 and is a member of the state's tactical unit.

The unit was called in to help police track down John-Victor Wetherby, 33. Police say Wetherby was on the run after attacking someone in Bellows Falls Friday. Footprints in the snow led them to an unoccupied home in Rockingham.

According to police, Wetherby barricaded himself in a bedroom. They say he was armed with an antique shotgun found in the house and he allegedly cocked it when he saw police. That's when officials say Duplissis fired his gun, grazing Wetherby.

Wetherby was taken to the hospital and then released into police custody. Investigators say the shotgun was not loaded.

No one else was injured.

Wetherby remains behind bars as he is facing charges from the Vermont State Police for the assault that happened on Hyde Street on Friday in Bellows Falls. The Bellows Falls Police are expected to file those charges as soon as Monday.

Duplissis is on paid leave for five days. After that, he'll return to desk duty while investigators determine whether the use of force was appropriate.

Duplissis was one of nine officers involved in the fatal shooting of robbery suspect Nathan Giffin outside Montpelier High School last year. Police say Giffin was supposed to pick up another suspect, Joshua Preston, after a robbery but he was shot by police first. Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan ruled that the shooting was justified and that no criminal charges would be brought against any of the police officers involved.

In 2014, Duplissis was injured by shotgun pellets during a Middlebury incident but he was not seriously hurt.