MONTPELIER, Vt.- The Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office says two Montpelier police officers involved in the August shooting of a 62-year-old man will not be charged.
Police say Cpl. Chad Bean shot and killed Mark Johnson of Montpelier after he allegedly pointed a gun at him and another officer. The second officer was identified as Chris Quesnel.
In a letter to Vermont State Police, Washington County State’s Attorney Rory T. Thibault said the evidence “supports the conclusion” that Bean was justified when he opened fire on Johnson, who was later found to have been carrying a pellet pistol.
Officers were responding to reports of a knife-wielding man trying to get into an apartment when they encountered Johnson on the Spring Street bridge. Police say he climbed on the railing but came down and pointed a gun at the officers. Bean than fired his patrol rifle.
Johnson, who police said had a history of mental illness, was pronounced dead at Central Vermont Medical Center. An autopsy found that he died of two gunshots to his torso.
Thitbault said Bean and Quesnel “made reasonable efforts to de-escalate” by offering to help Johnson. “I further conclude a lack of malice, based on the conduct of the officers and their immediate attempts at performing life saving measures on the decedent,” Thibault said.
Thibault has scheduled a news conference for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Montpelier City Hall.