Crime & Police Reports

Police arrest suspect in Walmart shooting

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DATE/TIME: 4:25 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, 2024

INCIDENT LOCATION: Walmart Supercenter, 115 Seymour Dr.

TOWN: Derby, VT

VIOLATION: Shooting

Aggravated Assault

Reckless Endangerment

Aggravated Operating without Consent of Owner (Auto Theft)

ACCUSED: Wellington Arias                                               

AGE: 21

CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Boston, MA

VICTIM: Jason Willey
AGE: 40
CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: No fixed address

SUMMARY OF INCIDENT:

Update no. 1:

The Vermont State Police has arrested Wellington Arias of Boston, MA, in connection with this shooting.  After responding to the scene of the crime, troopers developed a person of interest, began following leads and issued a “Be on the lookout” for the vehicle and suspect.  At approximately 1750 hours, a trooper assigned to the St Johnsbury Barracks was monitoring traffic and stopped a Nissan Altima for traveling 97 MPH in a 65 MPH zone on I-91 Northbound in Lyndonville.  The operator of the vehicle was identified as Arias, at this point in the investigation identified by Derby Troopers as the shooter.  Arias was placed under arrest, transferred to the custody of Derby troopers and processed at the Derby Barracks.  He was ordered held without bail by the on-call judge and lodged at the Northern State Correctional Facility.  He is due in the Orleans Superior Court, Criminal Division, on 5/30/24 at 1230 hours.

The investigation into this incident continued into the evening, and involved State Police detectives, State Police detectives assigned to the Vermont Drug Task Force, and uniformed troopers assigned to the Derby and St Johnsbury Barracks processing evidence and conducting interviews.  The investigation at this point indicates there was a confrontation involving the accused and Jason Willey in the Walmart parking lot.  During this incident, the accused fired a round from a handgun in closed proximity to Willey, which ricocheted off the pavement, and stole a gray Chevrolet Equinox from Willey’s possession.  At the time, the Walmart was open for business and the parking lot was occupied.  Arias fled the scene immediately prior to the arrival of responding troopers, and is believed to have changed vehicles prior to traveling southbound on I-91, then briefly northbound again before being stopped.

Troopers were assisted in this incident by officers from the Newport Police Department and Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing and troopers are still seeking the whereabout of the Chevrolet Equinox, a photo of which is attached to this release.  Anyone with information is asked to call VSP’s Derby Barracks at 802-334-8881 or provide an anonymous tip online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.

–INITIAL RELEASE BELOW–

The Vermont State Police is investigating a shooting that occurred Wednesday afternoon, May 29, 2024, in Derby. No one was injured.

The shooting was reported at about 4:25 p.m. in the parking lot outside the Walmart Supercenter. Reports indicate that a suspect fired at least one shot at another individual. The suspect was reported to have fled the scene in a gray Chevrolet Equinox with unknown license plates.

Initial investigation indicates the shooting was a targeted event, and there is no general threat to the public at large.

Anyone with information is asked to call VSP’s Derby Barracks at 802-334-8881 or provide an anonymous tip online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit..


 

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