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Putney Road Shooting


Early this morning, there was an officer involved shooting at a hotel on Putney Road. As per statewide protocol, the Vermont State Police is investigating. Further information will be made available in the future. Questions can be directed to the Windham County State’s Attorney at 257-2860. 

Jan Anderson
Executive Secretary
Brattleboro Town Manager's Office
(802) 251-8100

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Location

Reported to be at America's Best Inn around 5:30 am

 
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Lots of troopers

Drove by this afternoon. The parking lot was filled with Vermont State Trooper vehicles and unmarked cars. Not much else.

One of the hotel rooms near the front was blocked with yellow tape, and officers were standing within the taped area discussing things. A big state trooper evidence (I'm guessing) van was backed up to the area.

 
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VERMONT STATE POLICE PRESS RELEASE

STATE OF VERMONT
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
VERMONT STATE POLICE

PRESS RELEASE
Officer Involved Shooting in Brattleboro

Brattleboro, VT - 4/4/14 - The Vermont State Police received a call at approximately 5:43AM from the Brattleboro Police Department regarding a shooting incident at the American Best Inn on Putney Road in Brattleboro. Detectives with the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation and troopers from the Brattleboro Barracks responded immediately to begin an investigation at the request of Brattleboro Police.

Members of the Crime Scene Search Team responded to process the scene. The decedent will be transported to the Vermont Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Burlington for a post mortem examination to determine cause and manner of death.

Through the initial course of the investigation, detectives learned that officers from the Brattleboro Police Department were attempting to execute a court ordered search warrant at 959 Putney Road at the American Best Inn, room 301. This search warrant was obtained as the result of an ongoing drug investigation. During the initial entry, a Brattleboro Police officer discharged his duty weapon striking a male occupant of the room. Rescue personnel were staged nearby and responded immediately to the scene. The male subject was pronounced deceased by medical personnel at the scene.

The name of the deceased male is being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin. Consistent with standard procedure, the name of the officer involved is being withheld at this time.

No other details are available at this time, as this is an active and on-going investigation. Additional questions may be directed to the Windham County State's Attorney at 802-257-2860.

 
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Updates

VSP Press Release - Decedent Identified, Preliminary Findings in Involved Shooting in Brattleboro

STATE OF VERMONT
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
VERMONT STATE POLICE

PRESS RELEASE
Decedent Identified, Preliminary Findings in Involved Shooting in Brattleboro

Brattleboro, VT - 4/17/14 - Detectives with the Vermont State Police received new information regarding the death investigation in Brattleboro from April 4, 2014. According to the preliminary findings by the Vermont Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), the cause of death is gunshot wounds. The decedent is identified as Michael J Santiago, age 35 of Brattleboro.

Projectiles recovered from Mr. Santiago will be sent to the Vermont Forensic Lab for ballistic analysis.

The Brattleboro Police officer was placed on administrative leave, per Brattleboro Police Department policy. The name of the Brattleboro Police officer will be released as soon as possible based on the needs of the death investigation.

Through the initial course of the investigation, detectives from the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation learned that in the early morning hours of April 4, officers from the Brattleboro Police Department were attempting to execute a court ordered search warrant at 959 Putney Road at the American Best Inn, room 301. This search warrant was obtained as the result of an ongoing drug investigation and authorized police to search the room for drugs and the decedent. During the initial entry, a Brattleboro Police officer discharged his duty weapon striking a male occupant of the room. Rescue personnel were staged nearby and responded immediately to the scene. The male subject was pronounced deceased by medical personnel at the scene.

Once the criminal investigation is complete the case will be reviewed, independently, by the Windham County State's Attorney and Vermont Attorney General's Office, as is customary in an officer-related shooting.

For information regarding the Brattleboro police officers involved or department procedures, please contact the Brattleboro Police Department. Additional questions may be directed to the Windham County State's Attorney at 802-257-2860.

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VT AG: shooting justified

BRATTLEBORO POLICE OFFICER JUSTIFIED IN USE OF DEADLY FORCE

Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced today that his office has completed a review of a police officer involved shooting incident that occurred on April 4, 2014, in Brattleboro, Vermont. The office has concluded, as a matter of law, that Brattleboro Police Sergeant Mark Carignan was legally justified in the use of deadly force when he twice shot Michael Santiago with his shotgun. The legal standard for the use of deadly force is whether the officer reasonably believed that he or a third party was in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury, and that deadly force was necessary to respond to that threat.
The incident began during the early morning hours of April 4, 2014, when several Brattleboro Police Department officers were executing a search warrant of Room 301 at the America’s Best Inn in Brattleboro. Amanda Piermarini and Michael Santiago were staying in Room 301. The search warrant authorized the officers to search for and seize both Santiago, for suspected violations of his conditions of release in two pending prosecutions, and heroin. Prior to the execution of the search warrant, the officers received information from law enforcement in a neighboring jurisdiction indicating that Piermarini and Santiago may have recently acquired several firearms. Furthermore, several of the officers, including Carignan, were aware of a previous incident during which Santiago possessed a knife and resisted arrest. During the execution of the search warrant, the officers unlocked the door to Room 301 with a lock override device the Inn provided. They were unable to fully open the door, however, because the door’s additional chain lock was engaged. When the officers opened the door as much as possible, Sgt. Carignan observed Santiago move towards a dresser located in the back of the room. At this point, Carignan shouted “Police Search Warrant.” In response, Santiago slammed the door shut. The officers reopened the door with the assistance of a ram. Once the door was open, Carignan repeatedly directed Santiago to show the officers his hands. Santiago ignored these commands and kept his right hand concealed behind his back. Several of the officers stated it appeared as though Santiago was holding or manipulating something. Carignan then warned Santiago that if he did not comply with the instructions to show the officers his hands, he may be shot. In response, Santiago advanced towards the officers while moving his right shoulder and arm – an officer described the motion as being consistent with drawing a firearm. When Santiago did so, Carignan shot him twice with his shotgun. After this occurred, Carignan summoned rescue and the officers took Piermarini into custody without incident.
Piermarini confirmed these facts during her interview with law enforcement. Santiago subsequently died on scene as a result of his injuries. During a search of Room 301, law enforcement located 10 bags or 1 bundle of heroin inside of Santiago’s boxer shorts, as well as several bundles of heroin and over $2,000 cash inside the dresser. Law enforcement did not locate any firearms.
As part of the investigation into this incident, multiple interviews were conducted, including interviews of the officers who executed the search warrant, Piermarini, and other individuals staying at the Inn. Additionally, the Vermont State Police Crime Scene Search Team was involved in the investigation. Finally, the Vermont State Police collected various photographs, reports from the officers, the rescue personnel, and the medical examiner, as well as other miscellaneous documentation.
Under the facts of this case, the Attorney General’s Office concluded that Sgt. Carignan was reasonable in his belief that he and the other officers executing the search warrant were in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury when he fired at Michael Santiago. Given what reasonably appeared to be a serious threat to his life and to the life of the other officers, Sgt. Carignan’s response of using deadly force was reasonable and justified. The Bennington County State’s Attorney’s Office has completed a separate and independent review of the investigation and has reached the same conclusion.

 

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