A Florida man who last month ran from police in Rutland was holding a cellphone when an officer fatally shot him in a McDonald's bathroom, police said on Thursday.
Jonathan Mansilla, 33, was hit twice in the chest on August 25. He'd allegedly led police on a car chase, then fled a crash and ran into the fast food restaurant bathroom before the shooting, police said.
It took Vermont State Police two weeks to publicly reveal that Mansilla had been unarmed. The agency refused to say until it interviewed Rutland City Police Cpl. Christopher Rose, who fired the shots, VTDigger.org reported last week. Rose, a five-year veteran of the force, "provided a voluntary interview" with state police detectives on Wednesday, the agency said.
As Seven Days reported in January 2018, "No laws or statewide policies in Vermont govern when to interview law enforcement officers who have discharged their weapons in the line of duty. Individual departments decide."
According to police, Rose entered the bathroom shortly after Mansilla "and saw Mansilla’s lower extremities under the gap at the bottom of a stall.
"Mansilla then exited the stall and ran toward Rose," Thursday's police statement says. "The officer said he observed an object in Mansilla’s hand that he perceived to be an unknown weapon of some kind. Rose then fired three rounds from his department-issued handgun, striking Mansilla twice in the chest. The object Mansilla was carrying was later determined to be a cellphone."
Rutland City Police
Cpl. Christopher Rose
Seven Days has not independently confirmed any of these statements. A police press release issued the day after the shooting described the scene as inside the McDonald's and said that "an altercation ensued between Mansilla and Cpl. Rose, at which time the officer discharged his duty weapon."
Cops say the incident began after Mansilla was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run in a Rutland parking lot. The victim later spotted Mansilla's black 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt in Wallingford. A lieutenant from the Rutland County Sheriff's Department later tried to stop Mansilla in Clarendon, but he fled.
Deputies picked up the chase back in Rutland, then saw Mansilla crash into a UPS truck near the McDonald's.
"The Rutland City and Rutland Town police departments also were responding to the situation," state police said in August. "At about the time of the crash, Cpl. Rose became involved in the police response."
Mansilla ran from the crash scene and Rose chased after him, eventually into the McDonald's, state police said.
An autopsy found that Mansilla died of gunshot wounds to the chest. The manner of death was "homicide — shot by other person (law enforcement)," state police said.
"State police detectives expect to conclude their work on the investigation in the coming weeks and turn over the matter to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and the Bennington County State’s Attorney’s Office for independent reviews of Officer Rose’s use of deadly force," Thursday's statement said.