Vermont AG: Officer justified in non-fatal Rutland shooting

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RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — A Rutland police officer was justified when he shot and wounded a man who he believed had run over another police officer during a drug investigation in July, the attorney general’s office said.

The attorney general’s office said Tuesday it was declining to prosecute Rutland City Police Officer Tyler Billings for the nonfatal shooting of Michael Goodnough, 45, of Rutland on July 8.

After the shooting, Rutland police told state police investigators a city officer was struck by a car before the shooting took place.

The investigation found Billings believed the life of Officer Nathan Harvey was in danger in the early hours of the morning and that the vehicle Goodnough was driving had run him over. It turned out that after being knocked down, Harvey had managed to get out of the way of the vehicle.

Investigators used video from the scene, including two cruiser dashcam videos and footage from a nearby business, a ballistics examination and a count of the number of bullets in Billings’ gun. They determined Billings fired eight times while Harvey was lying on the ground near the suspect’s vehicle.

“Moreover, once Officer Billings realized that the driver was no longer a threat to Officer Harvey, he stopped shooting,” the release said. “Therefore, Officer Billings’ shooting of the driver was justifiable.”

Goodnough was taken into custody after a vehicle chase, in which he crashed his car. Another man in the vehicle with him was injured in the crash.

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