BURLINGTON, Vermont (Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022) — The Vermont State Police investigation is continuing early Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022, into a non-fatal police shooting that occurred earlier in the day by a member of the Burlington Police Department in the city’s Old North End.
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An initial review by VSP detectives shows that three BPD officers responded shortly before 3 p.m. to a brief 911 call that reported an unspecified emergency at 249 Manhattan Drive. The officers encountered David Johnson, 20, outside the Burlington home at that address where he lives. He was carrying a large kitchen knife and had made statements about wanting to end his life.
Evidence reviewed by VSP, including footage from body-worn cameras, shows that the officers attempted to establish a rapport with Johnson, whom they knew from previous interactions, and attempted to de-escalate the situation. About four minutes after the police arrived, Johnson charged at one of the officers. That officer was carrying and deployed a conducted electrical weapon, which did not slow Johnson. At the same time, another officer fired his department-issued handgun, striking Johnson one time in the upper left leg.
In the course of the shooting, two occupied vehicles parked on the street nearby were struck by gunfire. One occupant of one of the vehicles received minor injuries from shattered glass; he was evaluated by medical personnel on scene and subsequently declined transport to the hospital.
The three Burlington officers immediately secured the knife, handcuffed Johnson, applied first aid and summoned rescue crews. Johnson was stabilized on scene and taken by ambulance to the University of Vermont Medical Center.
Per Burlington Police Department policy, the officer who fired his weapon has been placed on paid administrative leave. Following standard procedure, the Vermont State Police will identify the officers involved on the day after the shooting.
The Burlington police response after the shooting included sworn officers along with civilian members of the department known as community service officers and a community support liaison. The University of Vermont Police Department and Burlington Fire & Rescue responded to the scene after the shooting.
Investigators with the Vermont State Police are continuing their work overnight. The Crime Scene Search Team finished processing the Manhattan Drive location at about 11:45 p.m., and the road between Lafountain and Rose streets has reopened. Charges are expected to be filed against Johnson, who remains hospitalized.
The Vermont State Police would like to speak to anyone with information about this incident that might assist investigators, or who has any photos or video footage of the situation. People should call VSP’s Williston Barracks at 802-878-7111 or leave an anonymous tip online at http://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.
Once the Vermont State Police investigation is complete, the case will be turned over to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and the relevant State’s Attorney’s Office for independent reviews of the police use of force.
No additional information is available. Further details of the investigation will be released as the case continues.