Crime News

Police take Middlebury shooter into custody on Friday evening

Middlebury police in helmets and wielding rifles couch behind cruisers at 36 Seymour St. Friday afternoon as they size up the situation following gunshots. A team of police kept the situation cool and state police raided the apartment around 8 p.m. Independent photo/John Flowers

MIDDLEBURY — Vermont State Police on Friday evening shot teargas into the Middlebury apartment of a man who had fired two or three gunshots from his window. Officers then busted in and disarmed the man. It appeared that he was having an emotional crisis of some sort. Police took away his rifle and took him to Porter Hospital for evaluation.

It ended a six-and-a-half hour standoff during which a portion of Middlebury around the passenger rail platform was shut down by police

Middlebury Police Chief Tom Hanley said the man, identified in a report by Middlebury Police Officer Kevin Emilio only as “Allard,” faces criminal charges

Multiple Middlebury police cruisers descended upon a home at the intersection of Maple and Seymour streets at around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 30, in response to a report of gunfire at the abode, which apparently includes several apartments.

The large, white house (36 Seymour St.) is located adjacent to the train overpass and a mere stone’s throw away from the Marble Works, the Amtrak passenger rail platform and the Middlebury Police Department on Lucius Shaw Lane.

The offices of the Addison Independent in the Marble Works is located only a few hundred yards from the incident site.

Maple Street and Seymour Street from Greg’s Meat Market were blocked off by Vermont State Police as Middlebury officers — some attired in tactical gear that included assault rifles, helmets and body armor — canvassed the property. They were quickly supplemented by officials from the Vermont State Police; Bristol, Vergennes and Brandon police departments; and the Addison County Sheriff’s Department.

Chief Hanley, who had taken up a position at County Tire later in the afternoon, told the Independent that no one had been shot and that the shooter remained inside the Seymour Street home. He reported the suspect had fired shots out of a window in the home and he remained ensconced inside the apartment.

Hanley said late in the afternoon that police were talking to the shooter. An ambulance was staged nearby.

Hanley provided the following account of the incident.

Officer Emilo wrote the following:

“On 06/30/23, at 12:21 p.m., Allard called the Middlebury PD from 36 Seymour St #2 and reported that he thought someone was breaking into his apartment.  I asked dispatch to notify CSAC (Counseling Service of Addison County) and request that Allard come outside to speak to me.  This was due to knowledge of him possessing a firearm and experiencing paranoia.  On arrival, his apartment was closed and there did not appear to be any signs of forced entry. Sgt. Covey arrived on scene to assist.

Middlebury Police Chief Tom Hanley walks among the dozen or so police at an improvised command post set up outside County Tire on Seymour Street Friday afternoon.
Independent photo/Steve James

 “Dispatcher Yantz told me that she should hear Allard mumbling from a distance and it was unclear if he was experiencing a medical issue. (Middlebury Regional EMS) was dispatched and requested to stage (an ambulance) at the Middlebury PD.

“Allard then disconnected and several attempts to reach him by phone were unsuccessful.  After knocking on his locked door several times and even using our batons to make more noise, Allard did not come to the door or respond verbally.  At around 12:46 p.m., Sgt. Covey broke the front door window with a sledgehammer and unlocked the bolt lock from the inside. 

 “Upon gaining entry and yelling to Allard, he yelled back “Fuck You!” and “Get Out” several times. He was in a locked room on the second floor and could later be heard crying. Chief Hanley arrived on scene with a CSAC clinician, but attempts to communicate with Allard were unsuccessful.  CSAC was unsure if an emergency examination warrant could be issued and we left the scene and returned to the Middlebury PD.”

Hanley added to the report at this point: “At this time we assessed the situation — Allard did not present as suicidal nor did he make any threats, tacit or otherwise against anyone else. He just wanted to be left alone. In conference with the CSAC clinician we elected to depart and try to connect with him later.”

Emilio’s report continued: “At around 1:28 p.m., Chief Hanley called me by radio and requested that I meet him in our parking lot.  He told me that when he was leaving the PD onto Seymour St., he heard a gunshot come from 36 Seymour St.  Sgt. Covey was dispatched back to the scene as Chief Hanley and I arrived.

 “Shortly after my arrival, I heard another gunshot and glass breaking coming from the south side of the residence  At 1:30 p.m. I heard a second gunshot and broken glass from the same location and notified dispatch. Sgt. Covey arrived on scene and assistance was requested from the ACSD (Addison County Sheriff’s Department) and VSP (Vermont State Police) New Haven, as well as VSP TSU (Tactical Services Unit).  Additional officers from this agency were also contacted and responded.  Neighboring homes were evacuated and nearby businesses were telephoned and were requested to shelter in place.

 “The roadways entering the scene were closed by the ACSD and VSP.  I remained at the perimeter behind a neighboring house at the corner of Lucius Shaw Lane and Seymour Street with ACSD Sgt. Sweet at the request of VSP TSU Sgt. N. Carey. At around 4:20 p.m., VSP TSU took over the perimeter and relieved us from our posts.

Hanley then continued in a note to the Independent: “Incident command was transferred to TSU, who also brought along the Crisis Negotiation Unit. Mr. Allard was unresponsive to verbal efforts to elicit a response, and was seen in his room with a rifle across his legs conscious yet unresponsive to communication.”

A Vermont State Police press release said that at about 8 p.m. Friday, police deployed tear gas into the residence at 36 Seymour St. and successfully took the suspect into custody without further incident.

Hanley explained that Mr. Allard was “taken to the police station and then to Porter Hospital for evaluation. He is facing charges of Reckless Endangerment. One .3-06 rifle was taken from his room. The police investigation is continuing.”

Streets in the area have been reopened, and people who were asked to leave their homes and businesses may return. No injuries were reported. Police thanked all the members of the community for their patience and understanding during this incident.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Police were called to 36 Seymour St. in Middlebury on Friday morning to calm a dispute and returned at around 1:30 p.m. when someone fired a gun out a window. As of late Friday afternoon police were still talking with the man inside the apartment. Photo by Google Street View.

 

The Independent’s Steve James contributed to this story.

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