Friday, August 27 at about 7 am, the Burlington Police Department responded to Edmunds Elementary School for a report of a bullet hole that was discovered in a classroom window. School was cancelled for the day at both the elementary and middle schools.
This is the 12th gunfire incident of 2021, compared to the annual average of two, acting police chief Jon Murad said. The late-night shooting was not reported. He’s concerned citizens in the downtown area are becoming used to late-night gunfire and aren’t even bothering to report it.
An initial investigation determined that a small-caliber round entered a third-floor classroom window on the west side of the school and struck the adjacent interior wall. A bullet consistent with pistol calibers was recovered from the classroom.
Further investigation by the Burlington Police Department Identification Unit, including a trajectory analysis, indicated that the round was likely fired from the vicinity of South Winooski Avenue and Main Street—a distance of more than 700 feet. Patrol officers, with assistance from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Division of Warden Service and a canine, searched the area for evidence. A bullet casing and expended rounds were ultimately recovered in different locations and will be analyzed to determine if they are associated with this incident.
Officers on scene conducted interviews and discovered that witnesses in more than one location heard several gunshots in the early morning hours, followed by vehicles fleeing the area. Nevertheless, the Burlington Police Department received no calls for service regarding the alleged gunfire at that time.
The preliminary investigation has not yielded evidence that this was a gunfire incident specifically targeted at the school. A gunfire incident is one in which police have probable cause that a firearm was discharged in the City of Burlington and reasonable suspicion that it was discharged at another person or in a reckless manner.
From 2012 to 2019, the annual average of gunfire incidents was two. In 2020 there were a dozen gunfire incidents. This is the twelfth gunfire incident of 2021.
“Burlington’s patrol officers and detectives are currently doing the investigatory work that they do so well,” said Murad, “and we’re hopeful to have more information about this incident soon. As a parent of kids in the Burlington School District, I’m relieved that, preliminarily, this incident does not appear to have been targeted against Edmunds Middle School. But I’m concerned by two things: one, that we’ve now experienced as many gunfire incidents in 2021 as in all of 2020, particularly since 2020 was so much worse than any preceding year, and two, that neighbors may be becoming sufficiently inured to these that they’re not reporting them. Working with partners on a strategy to address this increase in gunfire is one of my top operational priorities.”
City Hall gunfire suspect arraigned – In another gunfire incident, police say Ibrahima Bangoura, 19, of Burlington, was arraigned in court August 23 following the City Hall shooting and threatening August 22. Police say he fired a shot with a .40 caliber handgun that hit no-one and then pointed the gun in a threatening manner at a group of people.