An innocent bystander was seriously injured early Monday after a man fired two gunshots into a crowd on Main Street in Burlington shortly after bars closed for the night, according to police.
Officers on patrol just after 2 a.m. heard the shots and caught 37-year-old Rashad Nashid not far from the shooting scene outside of Nectar's, police said in a statement. Nashid, a convicted felon, was allegedly intoxicated and armed with a .38-caliber Ruger pistol when a Burlington police sergeant arrested him on South Winooski Street.
“The chief of police would like to commend the sergeant for his bravery and restraint in confronting an armed, intoxicated suspect in the direct aftermath of a shooting, and the other responding officers for safely bringing order to a dangerous and chaotic crime scene,” the department said in a statement.
Nashid was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He appeared in federal court later Monday and was ordered held until his trial. Nashid faces up to 10 years in prison.
The 26-year-old victim was shot in the lung and is in serious condition, but she is expected to survive, according to police.
“She does not have any known ties to the suspect,” police said in a statement.
Nashid told police he’d been drinking at Nectar’s before the shooting. An "unknown male" that Nashid knew from an altercation a year earlier approached him outside of the bar, according to federal authorities.
"The defendant pulled out a gun and shot at the male in order to make the male 'back down,'" the feds said in a statement. "The bullet instead struck an innocent bystander who happened to be standing on the sidewalk near the defendant."
Nashid has several previous felony convictions in New Jersey, federal authorities said.
Nashid is also facing felony drug charges in Burlington and had been out of prison on conditions ahead of his trial. Cops investigating a woman’s overdose death arrested Nashid and three others in September at a Pearl Street apartment where police allegedly found 50 grams of crack cocaine, 25 grams of powdered cocaine, five grams of heroin, $5,000 cash and a loaded .357 revolver.