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New Details Emerge in Manhattan Drive Police Shooting


Published August 14, 2022 at 11:52 a.m.
Updated September 6, 2022 at 7:25 p.m.

The shooting scene - MATTHEW ROY ©️ SEVEN DAYS
  • Matthew Roy ©️ Seven Days
  • The shooting scene
Updated at 5:15 p.m.

The man shot and wounded by Burlington police on Saturday was a 20-year-old resident who was armed with a knife and had talked about ending his own life, according to Vermont State Police.

In a statement on Sunday morning, state police — the agency investigating the shooting — also said bullets hit two vehicles parked nearby with people inside them. One person was injured by shattered glass.

On Sunday afternoon, VSP identified seven-year department veteran Sgt. Simon Bombard, 30, as the officer who shot the man. Bombard has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Police say Bombard and two other Burlington officers responded to Manhattan Drive around 3 p.m. on Saturday following a brief 911 call about “an unspecified emergency." David Johnson, who lives on the street and whom police knew from previous encounters, was standing outside with a "large kitchen knife."

Body camera footage reviewed by VSP showed officers attempting to calm the situation with Johnson. Minutes later, Johnson “charged at one of the officers,” and one of them used an electric stun gun, police said. Bombard fired his handgun at the same time, striking Johnson once in the leg and hitting the two nearby vehicles.

Police expect to file unspecified charges against Johnson, who was being treated at the University of Vermont Medical Center.

Late on Saturday, state police sent 10 troopers to downtown Burlington to help maintain order. Acting Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad had requested the backup following a separate shooting on Main Street in which two men were injured.