Updated: Burlington bar shooter charged; victim recovering

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By , VTDigger.org

BURLINGTON — Authorities have charged and detained a man who shot a gun into a crowd outside a bar in the early morning hours of Monday, seriously injuring a woman.

Police on bar patrol heard the gunshots as bars were letting out around 2 a.m. Witnesses saw the man, who police later identified as Rashad Nashid, 38, fire two shots into a crowd in front of Nectar’s, according to a news release from the Burlington Police Department.

The 26-year-old victim is being treated at UVM Medical Center and is expected to survive, authorities said. A single bullet passed through her body and lodged in her clothing.

A statement from the US Attorney for Vermont said Nashid “pulled out a gun and shot at the male in order to make the male ‘back down.’ The bullet instead struck an innocent bystander who happened to be standing on the sidewalk near the defendant.”

After the shot was fired, police said a passerby pointed out Nashid to a Burlington police officer on South Winooski Street, where they confronted and arrested him. Police found Nashid with a Ruger .380 pistol.

Nashid is from Burlington but has been convicted a multiple felonies in New Jersey, according to the US attorney. He is not allowed to carry a gun. He is also awaiting trial for a 2017 felony charge of narcotics possession, police said.

Nashid was charged in federal court for the possession of a firearm and placed in detention. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Prosecutors will also contemplate further charges.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger released a statement Monday saying he was “deeply troubled” by the shooting. He said it highlighted the need for a law prohibiting guns from bars, which he said should be among the proposals from Governor Phil Scott and state legislators to better control guns in Vermont.

“As Montpelier considers a broad array of new reforms, statewide prohibition of guns from bars should be considered,” Weinberger said in the statement, noting that more than a dozen states already had such prohibitions.

“Guns and alcohol don’t mix well. I urge State leaders to look carefully at crafting comparable legislation for Vermont to make shootings like the one that happened in Burlington early this morning less likely,” the mayor said.

Burlington Police said their investigation is active and ongoing.

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