City armed robbery suspect shot, arrested
BRATTLEBORO — The man suspected in the May 1 armed robbery of Small City Market in Vergennes was shot by Brattleboro police 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; on Wednesday hospital officials said they didn’t have permission to release his condition.
He faces both state and federal charges.
Triolo will be charged with federal robbery and could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, according to the office of the U.S. Attorney for Vermont.
State police detectives are investigating armed robberies in Weathersfield and Westminster on Friday night, May 4, as well as 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 is also a suspect in an April 30 armed robbery in Queensbury, N.Y., and wanted for violating parole in Texas. According to Vergennes police he is also a suspect in robberies in Tennessee and Kansas.
The U.S Attorney’s press release also alleged Triolo took $6,115 from the Small City Market on May 1 and identified the businesses he allegedly robbed on Friday as the Ascutney Sunoco gas station in Weathersfield and the Allen Brothers Farm Market in Westminster.
After he was shot on Friday police allegedly recovered from Triolo’s vehicle, a black 2007 Kia Sorento, a pellet gun that the U.S. attorney’s press release stated “was similar in appearance to an actual semi-automatic pistol and similar to the weapon used in the Small City robbery.” Triolo was not carrying that weapon or any other firearm when he was shot, according to both the U.S. Attorney and Vermont State Police press releases.
According to VSP a preliminary investigation, including video surveillance, uncovered evidence that Triolo committed the robberies in Weathersfield and Westminster before being confronted by police in Brattleboro on Friday.
State police 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, heading south on Route 5. The officers 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 with its lights shut 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 fled into nearby woods.
According to the state police, officers searched the area, found the suspect and ordered him to stop and to show his hands. Triolo did not respond, according to the VSP 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 an ambulance arrived.
Although officers did not find a weapon on Triolo, police reported they found cash on him and an unloaded Daisy Powerline 340 pellet gun in his SUV.
According to VSP, 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.
Vergennes police sent the suspect’s photograph and description and a description of the suspect’s vehicle and its Texas license plate number statewide to other law enforcement agencies. 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 and Officers Michael Cable and Sean Wilson — involved in the shooting have been placed on paid administrative leave per department policies.
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