Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting that happened early Friday morning, involving two members of the Montpelier police department. After an autopsy, the chief medical examiner’s office is calling the manner of death a homicide – shot by police.
Police have identified the victim as 62-year- old Mark Johnson.
According to state officials, Montpelier Police Department responded to a call around 5 a.m this morning, after a resident of an apartment complex near the main street roundabout said a man with a knife was trying to break into his unit. Police say Johnson also lived in the complex.
“They observed him leaving the back door of the apartment and were then able to locate him going over to the Spring street bridge, “said Maj Dan Trudeau.
Police say Johnson was carrying what appeared to be a handgun. Officials determined the officers tried to de- escalate the situation.
Maj. Trudeau said, “Over five minutes at least attempting to get him to put the gun down, put his hands down and things of that nature.”
“I was in a deep sleep and then I heard something and I wasn’t really sure what was going on,” said Robbie Hackette, a resident in the apartment complex.
Johnson was taken to Central Vermont Medical center where he was pronounced dead. The medical examiner’s office says he died of two gunshots to his torso.
The gun that Johnson was carrying was later found to be a Daisy Powerline Pellet Pistol.
State police say Johnson had a history of mental illness.
The officers involved were not injured and their names have not been released due to protocol. They have been put on administrative leave.
Once the investigation is complete, it will then go to the Vermont attorney general’s office and the Washington county attorney’s office for review.