November 10, 2011

Update 5:

Associated Press reports:

"People who knew the victim in the encampment said they were sure the man, who said he was a veteran, had shot himself. Police would not characterize the circumstances of the shooting."

"This person has clearly needed more help than we were capable of giving him here at this park," said Emily Reynolds, a University of Vermont student and a leader in the local Occupy movement."

"If government provided better mental health services, she said, "this probably wouldn't have happened."

The deceased man was known to protesters only as "Josh."

Also, protesters clashed with police this evening as they moved in to take down the tents in the encampment.


"Police said rules for the encampment may change and that police would need to take control of the park for at least 24 hours to investigate the death."

It remains unclear what form Occupy Burlington will take when it continues, but the City Hall Park encampment may not be allowed to return.

Update 4:

WCAX-TV has reported that the man shot at Occupy Burlington today has died.


"At about 2 p.m. Thursday, police and rescue personnel were called to the Occupy protest tent city in Burlington's City Hall Park for a report of a person with a gunshot wound."

"Police say a 35-year-old man was taken to the hospital where he died. The victim has been identified, but police will not release his name until his family is notified."

"At this point, police tell us they believe the shooting was self-inflicted. No word yet on whether it was accidental or a suicide. Burlington Deputy Police Chief Andi Higbee said the public is not believed to be at risk, but the circumstances of the shooting are still being investigated."

Vermont's Seven Days news reports that the future of the Occupy Burlington encampment is uncertain at this time.


"By late afternoon, the future of the three-week-old Occupy Burlington encampment appeared in doubt. Mayor Bob Kiss planned to meet with key deputies about the incident this afternoon. Organizers of the movement huddled in the park to mourn and plot next steps."

"Asked by a reporter if the shooting gives him pause about the future of the occupation, Higbee replied, "Yeah, I think that's a fair statement."

"Asked if he thinks it should be shut down, Higbee replied, "I don't think I'm at a point where I could characterize that. It certainly gives us cause for concern. Our responsibility is to keep the public safe and discharge of a firearm in a public place like this, you know, it gives me pause."

Again, updates will continue as further information becomes available.

Our hearts go out to the members of Occupy Burlington during this difficult time, and sincere condolences to the loved ones of the deceased.

Update 3:
Initial reports indicate the shooting today at Occupy Burlington were self-inflicted, however the circumstances are still under investigation at this time. Police have identified the 35-year old man who remains in "grave condition," but will not release that information until next of kin have been notified.

Updates will continue as information is made available to the media.

Update 2:

"Multiple people in the Occupy Burlington camp including Tod Lacroix said they understand the shooting was self-inflicted."

"Police said they were trying to get a warrant to go in to the tent where the shooting apparently happened."

Continued updates as they become available.


"Police say a 35-year-old man in in grave condition after an apparent shooting in City Hall Park, the scene of the Occupy Burlington encampment. Police said it will be several hours before they know more, but did say there is no danger to the public. Police said they have recovered the weapon.
There has been a shooting today at City Hall Park at the Occupy Burlington encampment in Vermont."

Police at the scene say it could be "hours" before they have more information to release.

Original report follows...

From the Burlington Free Press:

"A man was removed from a green tent where blood was evident. There is no information on whether the person is alive or dead. About a half dozen police cars were at the scene at about 2:20 p.m."

"Police have the encampment taped off. Some people are inside the tape, some are at the edges of the park are hugging and crying."

The park has been cleared and cordoned off and will remain so until an investigation is complete.

More on this as information becomes available.

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