Day after gunfire injures former City Councilor, Burlington mayor asks council to help stop “reckless shootings”

Former Burlington City Councilor David Berezniak (left) was struck in the head by gunfire shrapnel Sunday night while sitting in his backyard near Roosevelt Park, the scene of of the gunfire. He was treated and released.

By Guy Page

A day after a former Burlington city councilor was struck in the head by gunfire shrapnel in his own backyard, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger demanded the City Council and other authorities help Burlington police stop the shooting spree in the state’s largest city.

According to a VT Digger news report, Democrat David Berezniak, a Ward 2 councilor from 2008-2012 endorsed by the socialist Green Democratic Alliance, was sitting in his backyard near Roosevelt Park in the Old North End at about 7 pm Sunday when he and two people with him heard shots fired. A moment later he felt like someone had hit his head with a rock. He was treated for injuries at the hospital and released hours later. 

The “gunfire incident” was the 12th in Burlington this year, compared to 14 all last year – and summer hasn’t even begun. City Councilors, especially Progressives, have downplayed the city’s growing violent crime problem. Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger issued this statement Monday:

“Gunfire incidents in Burlington are dangerous, illegal, and unacceptable. The individuals who are putting themselves and the public at risk through these reckless shootings should be on notice that the City is doing everything in its power to hold them accountable and ­stop now. To fully protect the public from gun violence, the BPD also needs action from other law enforcement agencies, the City Council, and state and federal lawmakers. Later this week, Chief [Jon] Murad and I will further detail both the BPD’s efforts to reduce gun incidents and the actions we need from partners.”

Burlington Police Department will need outside help because it is understaffed, with just 68 officers in a department requiring 85 for a full roster. The nationwide police shortage, antipathy against police in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing two years ago, and the City Council’s own decision to reduce police funding all have contributed to the shortage. 

It is not known yet what steps Weinberger and Murad will take, or how they expect the City Council and other authorities to help. Offering cash awards for information may one of them. BPD is offering a substantial reward for information about a May 23 City Hall Park shooting. 

The June 6 Burlington Police Department press release announcing the reward offers these details of the incident:

Officers arrived on scene and provided immediate medical aid to the person with a bullet wound. He was bleeding from his head. He was transported to the UVM Medical Center with a bullet wound channel that spanned between the back of his neck to his ear. His prognosis is good that he will recover. 

Initial investigation determined that this person and another engaged in a shootout that left bullet holes in the store front window of Burton Snowboard and Community Bank, both located on College St. There was also a bullet hole in the newly erected public restroom in City Hall Park. Another bullet shattered a window at the Flynn Theater.

During the shootout, bullets barely missed a pregnant female who was in close proximity of one of the shooters. Also, there were several people sitting on the steps of City Hall, who ducked and reported bullets flying past them.

After the shooting, the other gunman fled the scene. That person is described as a white male and a video clip of him is attached. Further, there were two black males who were also present and fled the scene.

Weinberger could pointedly ask Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George to hold shooters in jail upon arrest, and prosecute them promptly, and seek stiff sentences. George is facing an August 9 primary challenge from Williston lawyer Ted Kenney.

Categories: Burlington

14 replies »

  1. I hope that the people of Burlington are smart enough to realize why Burlington is less safe and who’s to blame.

  2. Isn’t it interesting how their policies and their viewpoints negatively impact communties until the day one of their own suffers the consequences of their said policies… their answer will be to double down and that too will fail miserably. There is no cure for what ails them.

  3. Coming home to roost, you reap what you sow, and all that jazz. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured THIS time, but it’s only a matter OF time before someone is.

    When you elect Socialist misfits & radicalized fanatics into elective office – this is what happens.

    The City Councilors will not change. The electorate needs to change them out.

  4. “City Councilors, especially Progressives, have downplayed the city’s growing violent crime problem.” Meanwhile progressives and democrats run around with hair on fire over gun violence in general in other places and blame the NRA, and the “MAGA crowd”. They just dont want to accept the blame where it belongs. Lately they want to “enhance background checks” while at the same time pushing for more policies to expunge the criminal records of convicted dirtbags, making background checks ineffective. Demoprogs completely ignore the concept of personal responsibility, while the American cities that they run are becoming uninhabitable by decent people. Elections have consequences…keep that in mind as our local coddler of criminals Sarah George faces a primary challenge.

    • nail on the head Rich. Burlington is quickly heading toward being “little Seattle” or “Little San Fran”. they all need to take a hard look in the mirror. THEY made this.

  5. Here’s a suggestion: You buffoons wanted Joe Biden & Co. in office?…..Then, do as he says: ….”PAY THEM MORE”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!……Shhhhh…….

    Instead of building veritable outhouses for the homeless to live in, take out ads offering to pay $200,000 a head for officers to work in Burlington. Yes, OF COURSE, you’ll have to pony up for the same for your current cops! That’s the repercussion for stupid decisions

    Next? Tell your imbecilic D/P legislators to CEASE from criminalizing police and stop the legislation that would hold them “personally responsible” for every move they NEED to make in split second decisions in order to keep your azzes safe!

    We live in a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC. If you want Socialism or Marxism, MOVE. I’ll help you pack your bags! Just call me.

    I’m looking up flight schedules from Burlington to Caracas right now!

    Call me!

  6. When reached for comment the shooters mother said “He’s a GOOD boy! A VERY good boy!” & D/A Sarah agreed..THIS is just “societal inequity” forcing dirtbags of ALL colors to sling dope for a quick buck then “defending their turf”..They are ALL “UVM’s”, Underprivileged, Vulnerable, & Marginalized” who can be “saved” by “diversion” & “public service” vs. REAL jail time. And I’m SURE that EVERY handgun used was bought w/an EXTENSIVE FBI background check, a proper waiting period, & mandatory “hunters education” safety courses taken. So relax Burlingtonians! What you REALLY NEED is more mental health “outreach workers” from Howard and FEWER police, not more! That and INCREASE the budgets of ALL the alphabet agencies currently doing….”great work” like CEDO, CVOEO, the multi-employee diversity department, etc. etc. THEY can “provide opportunities” to HELP the “UVM’s” and get them ALL the $ervices needed to get them “back on track”! It’s ONLY money! Just levy a few more taxes & ALL will be FINE!

  7. Excuse my disgust for current politicians but, I don’t see Phil (gun control) Baruth, Chittendon County Senator advocating for stricter jail time for out of state felons bringing their illegally obtained firearms to Burlington or Vermont. Where is Martin Lalond, Burlington Rep. in the house on Felons with guns? This is the usual case with professors who know very little about actual life because they are creatures of Academia. Where are these two on protecting your children at school and your family at home? Where are they on light sentencing for these felonious criminals who come to our state to continue their criminal trade and are currently dealing poison and shooting up the streets of Burlington?

    I guess the voters in that county are all okay with the diversity and inclusion of these poor boys from out of state coming here to prey on the young folks by selling them death from fentanyl, cocaine and heroin. Why else would they continue to vote for senators and representatives who would rather take our freedoms away than actually deal with those who are causing the trouble.

  8. awww… Poor Progressive City Councilman. In the bizzarro world these Progressives live in, let’s have this council person apologize to the perpetrator since I’m sure he/she hadn’t received some form of social justice, was bullied by some conservative, or didn’t get their fair share. It’s only right they discharged a firearm in the City limits.

  9. I live with someone who still naively believes the state and country are headed in the right direction. Please go get another booster shot. Lay in the bed you made

  10. Anyone who has lived in the Roosevelt Park area of the Old North End in the last 10-20 years knows what has changed. That park is nearly unusable now.

  11. How’s that defund the police working for you dumbocrats and progressives. Looks like karma has caught up to you.

    • +1, You can’t outrun stupid or legislate it away, but Karma is always waiting. Those who dine at the Karma Cafe, rarely get to choose from the menu!

  12. Just to put the icing on the cake in Burlington’s “progress” in becoming just another gang-infested hellhole northeastern city, maybe there is a street in the Old North End that is named after someone with slavery or eugenics in their past that can be renamed: Martin Luther King Boulevard?