TUNBRIDGE, Vt. (AP) — Two Vermont State Police troopers involved in the fatal shooting of a suspect who fired on officers won’t be prosecuted because their actions were justified, the Vermont attorney general’s office announced Tuesday.
The results of the investigation were released a day after a fire destroyed the Tunbridge mobile home where Jeremy Potwin was shot May 11. The Orange County state’s attorney also conducted an independent review and declined to prosecute the troopers, the attorney general’s office said.
In announcing the results of its probe, the attorney general’s office said the decision by troopers Neil Carey and Matthew Tarricone to use deadly force, which came after Potwin ignored repeated commands to put down his weapons, was “reasonable and justified.” The investigation determined that prior to being shot, Potwin had fired a number of shots at police from inside the house.
Potwin was shot once in the right shoulder blade area and died at the Gifford Medical Center in Randolph.
At the time of his death, Potwin was wanted for questioning, including in three arson cases, among them an April fire that destroyed a vacant home and garage near the site of Monday’s fire. This week’s fire is still being investigated, but it is not considered suspicious, said state police spokesman Adam Silverman.
Police went to the home to arrest Potwin for an alleged probation violation. Potwin refused to be taken into custody and fired several shots out of the house in the direction of members of the state police’s Tactical Services Unit.
After a standoff that lasted several hours, Potwin exited the home holding his pregnant girlfriend in front of him with a handgun pointed at her head. In his other hand he held a large caliber revolver, which was pointed at police.
Potwin was shot as he continued to advance toward troopers. Carey fired a shot that missed, according to the attorney general’s office. Then Tarricone fired a single shot that hit Potwin.
Both troopers have since returned to full duty.
The hostage was unharmed.