Police in Brattleboro shoot suspect in Vergennes robbery
BRATTLEBORO — The man suspected in the May 1 armed robbery of Small City Market in Vergennes was shot by Brattleboro and Vermont State police this past Friday night while they were trying to apprehend him as a suspect in two other robberies.
Mark Triolo, 46, of Texas was listed in stable condition at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., on Saturday
State police detectives are investigating armed robberies in Weathersfield and Westminster on Friday night and the shooting that followed when police attempted to arrest Triolo. According to a Vermont State Police press release Triolo was unarmed at the time of the shooting.
Triolo was also a suspect in an April 30 armed robbery in Queensbury, N.Y., and wanted for violating parole in Texas.
Preliminary investigation uncovered evidence, including video surveillance, that Triolo committed the robberies in Weathersfield and Westminster before being confronted by police in Brattleboro on Friday.
VSP notified Brattleboro police that the suspect, described as a white man driving a black SUV with Texas license plates and armed with a handgun, might be traveling south from the last reported robbery, in Westminster.
At about 8:40 p.m., shortly after the robbery was reported in Westminster, a Brattleboro police officer saw the suspect vehicle parked at the Mobil station off Exit 3 of Interstate 91 in Brattleboro.
The officer waited for backup, and when he and three more Brattleboro officers approached the vehicle on foot the suspect successfully fled in his SUV, according to the VSP press release, heading south on Route 5. The officers then began searching the area.
At about 8:50 p.m. a resident of Black Mountain Road reported to police that a vehicle had pulled in his driveway and shut its lights off. Brattleboro police and state police troopers responded and found the vehicle in the driveway. Four Brattleboro officers and two troopers approached on foot and learned Triolo had left the vehicle and was in nearby woods.
According to the state police press release, officers searched the area, found the suspect and ordered him to stop and to show his hands. Triolo did not respond, according to the police press release, and “subsequently officers fired multiple rounds striking the suspect.”
Triolo was described as being struck by “multiple rounds to his legs and at least one round to his torso.” Police then took him into custody and rendered medical aid until rescue personnel arrived.
Officers did not find a weapon on the suspect, police reported, although they found cash on Triolo and an unloaded Daisy Powerline 340 pellet gun in his SUV, now identified as a black 2007 Kia Sorento.
According to the VSP press release, three Brattleboro officers and one state trooper shot at Triolo. The exact number of rounds fired and types of firearms will be determined as part of the investigation.
The robbery at the Small City Market in Vergennes occurred at 9:05 p.m. on May 1. Store surveillance video showed a white man pointing a handgun at the cashier during the robbery. Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel described the assailant as a man in his early to mid-30s, about 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighing between 180 and 200 pounds, with short hair and a light beard, and what appeared to be a tattoo on the right side of his neck.
This information and a photograph were sent statewide to law enforcement, along with a description of the suspect vehicle and its Texas license plate number. The vehicle had been reported stolen in Texas.
State police said members of the VSP Major Crime Unit in consultation with the Windham County State’s Attorney are investigating the police shooting of Triolo. Upon completion of the police investigation, the case will be reviewed independently by the offices of both the Windham County State’s Attorney and the Vermont Attorney General, as is customary for police shootings in Vermont.
The state police officer — Jason Lengfellner, who has been with Vermont State Police since January 2016 — and the three Brattleboro officers — Sgt. Chase Stanley, Officer Michael Cable and Officer Sean Wilson — involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave per department policies.
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