By Michael Bielawski
This weekend, four gunfire incidents, including a fatal shooting, took place in Vermont – including two in Burlington.
Just over a week ago, VDC reported that there have been just five gun-related incidents in the Queen City as of July 15 for this year. These latest headlines mean there are now at least seven gun-related incidents for the year.
Arrest in Burlington gunfire incident
Both gunfire incidents occurred at the same Church Street apartment building on Saturday. A suspect for one of those is due in court. The incidents took place a block south of the busy Church Street Marketplace. The first incident occurred just before 7 p.m.. No suspects have been found yet.
The second occurred shortly after 8:30 p.m. Police found Tajon Lytch, 34, in the building and arrested and charged him with reckless endangerment. State Police and UVM Police both aided in the response.
Saturday night’s incident was Lytch’s second reported brush with Burlington police. Last November, he was cited for making threats and disturbing patrons in a Main Street bar. Police say he was found to be in possession of a stolen 9mm Glock firearm, 3.9 grams of presumptive crack cocaine, 28 grams of marijuana, and more than $3,000 in cash.
A double shooting in Danville
Also on Saturday over in Danville, two men were shot at about 1 p.m.. One was killed and the other injured.
The deceased man is Wayne Payton, 50, of Danville. The autopsy determined he was killed by a shot to the head. The injured man is Tellurian Surles, 23, also of Danville. He is still at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.The Vermont State Police’s Crime Scene Search Team has completed its investigation of the scene.
State police say the cause of the incident was domestic disagreement, and that Surles was involved in a relationship with a member of the household.
A shooting in St. Johnsbury
On Friday in St. Johnsbury, there was another shooting shortly after 9 p.m. It occurred at 57 Harrison Avenue, apartment #3. A neighbor called in the incident after hearing the shots.
When police arrived they found two men wounded with gunshots. Reports indicate that three unidentified men entered the apartment and fired shots before fleeing in a black SUV. The victims were taken to the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital and later to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and they were in critical condition.
The Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation heads the investigation with help from the VSP Field Force and Crime Scene Search Team, and the St. Johnsbury Police Department. It’s been determined as a targeted shooting.
Officer will not be charged with shooting
On Wednesday it was announced by the Attorney General’s Office and the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office that there would be no charges in a non-fatal officer-involved shooting incident from August 13, 2022, in Burlington. Burlington police officer Sgt. Simon Bombard was attacked by a knife. Bombard fired three shots in response, with one shot striking the assailant in the leg.
“In reaching their decisions, the Attorney General’s Office and the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed all materials provided by Vermont State Police, who conducted the investigation, as well as a report from a use-of-force expert,” the report from the Attorney General’s office states.
The author is a reporter for Vermont Daily Chronicle.