‘Go ahead’: Police say woman tried to provoke Burlington officers into shooting her

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A 37-year-old woman is being evaluated at UVM Mecical Center on Wednesday after she brandished a fake handgun on North Avenue near Burlington Police Department headquarters and told responding officers, “Go ahead and shot me.”

Police say they received numerous 911 calls about the woman, who was reportedly pacing the street and making comments indicating that she intended to confront police with the firearm. A sergeant and four officers responded and contained the scene. Dispatchers used cameras to monitor the situation while officers made contact with one of the woman’s friends.

The woman began to move toward the officers, who had their weapons drawn. She then discarded the fake handgun and, according to police, began to weep and said: “Go ahead and shoot me, I don’t [expletive] care anymore.”

Police said the woman told them she intended for officers to shoot her. She was taken into custody and transported to University of Vermont Medical Center for a crisis evaluation Police described the woman’s handgun as a “realistic imitation firearm.”

“Each year, officers respond to thousands of mental health-related incidents in which people in crisis need our help,” said interim Chief Jennifer Morrison. “Sometimes, those people present a danger to themselves and others. The men and women of the Burlington Police Department approach these high stakes situations with the benefit of both tactical and de-escalation training, experience, and a deep desire to keep people safe.”

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