Suspect was unarmed in Brattleboro police shooting

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By  and , VTDigger.org

Three officers from the Brattleboro Police Department and one Vermont State Police trooper shot a man who was allegedly involved in two armed robberies Friday night in Westminster and Weathersfield.

The suspect was not armed when he was shot, though police say they later found a pellet gun in his car.

The four officers have been placed on paid leave.

The suspect, Mark Triolo, 46, fled from police who discharged their guns at him on Black Mountain Road in Brattleboro at 9 p.m. Friday. He was transported to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and then sent to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.

Triolo was in stable condition as of Saturday afternoon.

Brattleboro police involved in the shooting were Sgt. Chase Stanley and officers Michael Cable and Sean Wilson; the state trooper was Jason Lengfellner, according to a Vermont State Police press release issued Saturday night.

The first robbery Friday was at the Sunoco in Weathersfield shortly before 8 p.m. The second robbery was at Allen Brothers store in Westminster.

A Brattleboro police officer saw Triolo’s car at a Mobil station off exit 3 at 8:41 p.m. and called other officers. When they arrived, the officers approached the car on foot and Triolo fled. A few minutes later, a Black Mountain Road resident reported to police that a car had parked in the driveway.

When officers arrived, Triolo was not in the car, so they began to search the area on foot. When officers confronted the suspect, police say he was unresponsive to their verbal commands and “officers fired multiple rounds striking the suspect,” according to a VSP press release.

Multiple rounds struck his legs and at least one round struck his torso, the VSP press release said. The exact number of rounds fired by police will be determined during the ongoing investigation, it added.

A search of the suspect ofter the shooting revealed he was not in possession of a firearm when police fired, the press release said. Crime scene detectives found an unloaded Daisy Powerline 340 pellet gun in the front seat of the car.

Triolo, 45, is also a suspect for an armed robbery in Vergennes on May 1 and has arrest warrants in Texas and New York. The 2007 Kia Sorento he was driving was stolen in Texas, police said.

Detectives are working with local law enforcement, the FBI and state and federal prosecutors regarding the crime in Vermont and elsewhere.

The VSP Major Crime Unit is investigating the officer-involved shooting with the Windham County State’s Attorney. Upon completion of that investigation, the shooting will be reviewed by the Vermont Attorney General’s Office.

All four police officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave, according to the press release.

The shooting of Triolo is the fourth police involved shooting in Vermont in eight months in which multiple officers have fired their weapons at individual suspects.

In three of the cases, the suspects were not carrying actual weapons. In two prior incidents, suspects carried BB guns that looked like Glock handguns.

  • Michael Battles was shot by Vermont State Police who were responding to a domestic violence call in Poultney on September, 1, 2017. Five troopers filed 28 rounds.
  • Nathan Giffin, accused of robbing a credit union, was killed on January 16 when nine shots were fired by Vermont State Police troopers and a Montpelier Police officer.
  • Benjamin Gregware was in a suicidal crisis when he held a gun to his head on Interstate 89 as he walked toward officers on February 12. He was shot dead by a state trooper and a Richmond police officer. Twelve shots were fired.

Each of the cases have been investigated by the Vermont State Police and the officers involved in the shootings have been exonerated by the Vermont Attorney General.

The Vermont State Police have said they are reviewing procedures and policies. An internal review panel has recommendedthat the officers involved in shootings be on longer administrative leaves.

One trooper, Michael Brown, fired shots in all three prior cases. He was allowed to go back into service soon after each shooting incident.

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