Crips gang member shot dead in Burlington

Police Department arson suspect charged after wild Sunday night

Khalif Jones loaded into ambulance following the Sunday night shooting on Decatur Street in Burlington. Wayne Savage photo

by Mike Donoghue, Vermont News First

This news story was first published in the Caledonian-Record.

Two men, including a member of a violent New York City gang, are dead in an apparent drug-related double homicide in Burlington’s Old North End as part of a wild Sunday night that saw police officers also handle two other non-fatal shootings and an arsonist torching the lobby of the city police station, officials said.

Khalif M. Jones, 27, of Burlington and Anthony R. Smith Jr., 26, of Vergennes were fatally shot at an apartment at 4 Decatur Street in Burlington about 9:15 p.m., authorities said. Both were shot in the head.

Smith was dead at the scene and Jones died shortly before 11 p.m. at the UVM Medical Center, Police Chief Jon Murad said.

The families did not want the names of the homicide victims made public, according to Chief Murad, but he maintained it was essential to be transparent in these kinds of crimes.

The New York City Police Department listed Jones as an associate of the “Crips,” a criminal gang in New York City, according to the U.S. Marshals Service in Vermont, which was looking for him as a fugitive in December 2019. The Marshals Service said at the time Burlington Police had asked for help finding Jones because he had failed to appear in state court to face drug trafficking charges from a June 2019 arrest.

Jones, who used the street name “Leaf Lzz,” was found leaving Motel 6 in Colchester and arrested him Dec. 16, 2019, Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal John Curtis reported at the time.

Jones also was wanted for escape by the Department of Corrections for disappearing while on furlough for an aggravated assault with a weapon case, Curtis said.

Jones had a long history of arrests in Burlington that includes cases of sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, driving while intoxicated and other crimes, Murad said during a news conference.

Murad and a BPD press release both listed Jones as being from Stowe, but that was news to Stowe Police on Monday.

Stowe Police said they were unaware of any link Jones had locally. Stowe Police officers had been asked once to check for Jones at a local address, but investigation showed he never resided there, Lt. Fred Whitcomb said.

Smith did not have much of a record of contact with law enforcement as an adult, police said.

Investigators believe that Smith was killed by Jones and that Jones may have been killed by a third person in the apartment, Murad said.

“A firearm was recovered with Mr. Jones. We believe that was the firearm used to kill Mr. Smith and the firearm that was used to kill Mr. Jones is not currently accounted for. Although we have found ballistics evidence indicating of more than one firearm at the scene,” Murad said.

He said both men were on the floor next to each other in the same room of the multi-room apartment. One was dead and the other lying next to him “was seriously injured and appeared to be likely to die.”

Murad said it was unclear who got shot first.

The chief said he would not share with the public how many people were reported to be in the apartment at the time of the shooting on Decatur Street. He said responding officers did find people outside who had been inside the residence.

Police said the double homicide may be related to a shooting about 75 minutes earlier near the Hilton Garden Inn at 101 Main Street

There were no known injuries and no suspects taken into custody, but at least one shell casing was located at the scene, said news videographer Wayne Savage, who was at the scene.

Murad said the shooting is considered a reckless endangerment case because there are no known victims.

Burlington and University of Vermont Police responded to the area, which is about a block from Burlington’s City Hall Park.

It was shortly after clearing from the scene of the first shooing on Main Street that Burlington Fire and Rescue were both summoned to 4 Decatur Street by Intervale Avenue.

Burlington Fire and Rescue were seen carrying one person to a gurney and it was lifted into the back of a Burlington Ambulance before it departed Decatur for UVM Medical Center.

The Chittenden County Gun Violence Task Force, which was created and developed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives earlier this summer, responded to help with the investigation.

Police said after the two shootings Sunday they had confirmed 13 reported gunfire incidents in the city that may involve criminal conduct this year. The 14th shooting case was reported at 1:15 a.m. on East Avenue and centered on a drug dispute, Murad said.

The wounded person, who Murad did not identify, reported he was shot above the foot while he was being robbed of his drugs, police said. It is believed unrelated to the double homicide.

Also, overnight Stephen Romprey, 62, of Burlington entered the police lobby and set it on fire at about 2 p.m., Murad said. Romprey was later found near Pearl Street and is facing charges of arson and reckless endangerment, the chief said.

Categories: Burlington, Crime

45 replies »

  1. now that is an example of a real news report, and a real news reporter, shoe leather style, unlike a lot of news that appears to have been copied from “X”(formerly Twitter).

  2. “The families did not want the names of the homicide victims made public, according to Chief Murad, but he maintained it was essential to be transparent in these kinds of crimes.”
    Thank you Chief Murad for putting public safety and information above political correctness and misplaced sensitivity. You and your department are the only glue holding together what is left of a once-great Vermont city. The fact that “khalif” was running free, committing violence is yet another testimonial to Vermont’s lame criminal justice system which allowed him out on furlough. The leftist idiots who run Vermont and those who vote for them are responsible for this mayhem, yet they continue to blame inanimate objects owned by law-abiding citizens. Anyone who votes for democrats and/or progressives these days needs to do some deep self-reflection and realize that they are to blame for attracting vermin like this to Vermont.

    • Liberals like boornie, petey and bolshevik becca and 80% of the State legislature liberal Logic lawmakers mostly from out of state!!

    • Yet Vermont Digger is so strangely quiet about all the homicides……like nothing.

      But they’ll drag a state police office through the coals with accusations he was antisemitic for months and months, and then when the video is finally released, we see how polite and professional Vermont’s finest was with the Rabbi.

      And this is how Vermont is skewed in thinking. It’s not reporting, it’s not looking for the truth…its’ dealing with an agenda and pushing it.

      If you read VT Digger, there is no Drug Problem in Vermont, there is no affordability problem, there is no educational problem or taxation problem in our state, there are only racists, misogynists and science deniers.

      • Yeah I just call that propaganda.

        That’s all WCAX, Burlington Free press, Vermont digger, 7 days, and all the main stream media is these days.

        Somewhere after 2012 it appeared to me that the news stop having a slant and would outright lie. I noticed it first with firearms and gun violence.

        I’m told that Obama changed something in his budget around page 1100 in 2012 that allowed the intelligence agencies to propagandize Americans whereas since the 50s they were only able to do it outside of our country. I don’t know if that’s true or not. The Twitter files certainly prove that the government can and does create massive influence through our media systems manipulating and hiding truths.

  3. Some very few on the left know exactly what they are doing by inviting crime & violence into Vermont while simultaneously prosecuting regular citizens for trivial offenses, often related to self defense. The remaining vast majority of the leftists are oblivious, gullible, naive and emotional thinkers. They will be the first ones up against the wall. What we’re seeing herd is anarcho-tyranny, and it’s meant to terrorize those of us who aren’t part of the “victim,” class by making us… the actual victims. It was part and parcel of the old Soviet regime.

  4. Two more down A few thousand to go.
    Am I sending a tend here???

    Welcome to Burlington’s new world order.

    • I think I understand the leftist plan if we leave the hoodlums on the streets, they will kill each other and save the tax payers housing them. Which will mean more money to give the homeless that don’t want to work. Hopefully the taxpayer-milk cow doesn’t get in the way.

  5. Vermont has some ongoing problems that are getting worse by the year, because leadership fails to take a different course.

    School Funding/Education.

    It’s not rocket science, but the uniparty doesn’t want to change, they would rather have us fighting our neighbors, arguing at thanksgiviing so they can pilfer our state til collapse.

    Then they’ll institute their plan in full scale, you’ll “Own nothing and be happy”….in your little cubicle attached to your “smart phone” living a miserable lonely life, without love, joy or peace.

    It’s all part of the Build Back Better….global utopian dream, just think we in Vermont can be another first! The first colony of the United Nations in the USA. Oh joy!

  6. Everything points back to Chittenden State’s Attorney Sarah George failing to do her job.

  7. Looks as if our “catch and release” system of criminal Justice is not working that well. Perhaps it is time to hold the hoodlums ion prison pending trial.

  8. Hey Burlington….. how is defunding the police working out for you? My only concern is that once Burlington (and Rutland) are destroyed, the vermin will expand their territory to the rest of Vermont. Until we vote out the legislators and DA’s that believe the vermin can be rehabilitated – the violence going to continue. And to all of you demanding gun control…let me ask you…when all the guns are taken from law abiding citizens and the vermin (who has a gun illegally) tries to hijack your car or enter your home…how do you plan on protecting yourself? You demanded that law enforcement to be reduced to a minimum – who will you call for help? But you will be the first to complain that the police are not going their jobs and that guns are the problem. So sad to witness the death of a once wonderful state.

    • They are already across the state in most every town. Sadly it’s usually public knowledge where the drug dealers are located and who is dealing the drugs.

      I remember talking with a local sheriff, telling him there is drug dealing going on in the commercial parking lot in Waitsfield. He didn’t want to pursue it, asked me if I would testify, etc, etc. …I suggested it was his job to arrest criminals not mine.

      We have a major drug and crime problem now in Vermont, because we made it easy…..

    • Burlington citizens seem to be quite content with their politicians’ pretending that things are fine. These voters seem to return the same sort of socialist/elitist to their government every election.
      What isn’t acceptable- is the impact Burlington has on a wide swath of other Vermont communities and counties. The lawlessness allowed (and seemingly encouraged) in Burlington and Chittenden county has spread quickly to Addison, Franklin, Lamoille and Grand Isle counties.
      The cost of Burlington’s elitist/socialist politics is borne by all Vermont residents in the form of crime, social ills and ever increasing taxes and fees.

      • Very true. We are making one assumption though that Burlington residents do vote these people in…. They may be being selected.

      • But it seems that just about all of Vermont is voting for socialists, not just the Burlington area.

  9. This is a unique opportunity to play upon failure of the liberal agenda in Vermont. Absolutely critical the Republican committee recruit ELECTABLE candidates for 2024 with proven leadership to chart a direction focused on attacking the drug trade instead of wasting resources on foolish, climate change. All you have to do in a debate is ask, “how many Vermonters have died from global warming?”

  10. It is time for all Vermonters to come together and realize that the reason we have had 8 murders last month, at least 3 more so far this month and all kinds of assorted mayhem and lawlessness, is because there are 181 people in Vermont who either like or don’t mind having the lawlessness and mayhem. If those 181 people did not want Vermont and its citizens to be subjected to all of this crime they would have changed it and they have not done so. The 181 people are 150 House members, 30 Senators and 1 Governor. If they wanted to make things better they could do it with better laws and mandatory sentences that the judges they appoint and vote for could not ignore.

    When the Legislature goes back into session, Baruth, Lalonde and others will do everything possible to make it harder for law abiding citizens to protect themselves. Other legislators will argue for more pay and more benefits for themselves and other legislators will fight to make us drive the vehicles that they want us to drive and tax us into using less gasoline and heating fuel. Other legislators will come up with all kinds of ideas to restrict our rights and force us to live the way THEY think is best, and many legislators will push for ways to make our Legislature a year ’round paid Legislature.

    We should remind them all that regardless of their good intentions, we are more and more likely to be the victims of crime and even homicide. We need to convince the 181 people that if they do not make choices and laws to protect us during the next session, they will be replaced with people who will work to protect us.

    • …and dont forget to give full credit to our elected Chittenden County State’s Attorney, and of course the majority who voted to re-elect her even though there was a very reasonable alternative in the last primary.

    • It should come as no surprise to anyone that has followed State news over the last few years. Hamas type gange are next.

  11. As we all know they live in Vermont, but they are not Vermonter’s and you can see by the gang affiliation just more trash up from the big cities selling their poison, we now see the gang- style assassinations ” one in the head ” defiantly a statement to others, and there will be others, and just wait until the other ” thugs” that came across US border illegally, wake up people…………..It’s not the US we know, because of feckless leadership !!

    • That is why we need a place the police can take undesirables where they agree not to return.

  12. I will vote for anyone that will think and vote like Trump does. No one else need to run. Oh, and police interrogation rooms with rubber hoses lining the walls.

  13. Oh no, and admission that gang activity exists in Vermont! Now what? Will truth and facts enter into our state? The gang traffic is rampant.

    • Those that pretend to rule over us will continue to pretend that firearms cause the current mayhem and murder- and thus should be banned- when the reality is the “progressive” thinkers directly caused the current situation in Vermont- and will continue to pretend it isn’t happening- until home invasions, carjackings and other violent crime becomes commonplace outside of Burlington- at that point, voters may still have a chance to elect people that actually understand how to correct the multitude of social and economic problems caused by the left over the last 4 decades.
      I’m not holding much hope for this to change, in a generation or more. Socialist/communist indoctrination begins before kindergarten in Vermont’s children.

  14. As I asserted yesterday, drug cartel execution and Burl city council and Sarah George own it. No repeat offenses from these boys now, two short lives lived very poorly and no longer an opportunity to repent.

  15. Burlington, Vermont – the Compton, California of the Northeast. How many sucessful gansta rappers will emerge from the bowels of the North End? Superstar athletes? There has to be a few diamonds rolling around in that rough who will break out of the impoverished, drug invested sewer of B-Town?