A man who was pointing a pistol at his own head was shot to death by Vermont State Police as he walked toward the officers on a busy interstate. The officers repeatedly told Benjamin Gregware, 42, of Sheldon, Vermont, to drop his weapon, but he did not comply, according to police in an Associated Press report.
State police Col. Matthew Birmingham said that Gregware never pointed his weapon toward police. He was shot three times, and he died at a hospital not long after. According to the Associated Press, Trooper Christopher Brown and another officer fired 12 shots in total.
This marked the third fatal shooting involving Brown in the last six months alone, the Burlington Free Press reported. Just last month, he was one of nine members of law enforcement who fatally shot a bank robbery suspect on the athletic field of a high school. As a result, Brown has been placed on administrative leave.
‘‘This decision is not an indication of any wrongdoing by Trooper Brown, but merely a change in the way the state police will now manage our response to officer involved shootings as it relates to the health and well-being of our members,’’ Birmingham said on Monday during a news conference.
Gregware’s wife had called police out of concern, stating that he was slurring his words and talking about how he bought ammunition. According to the Associated Press, Gregware told at least one police officer that he wanted to keep driving until he ran out of gas. After he ran out of gas, he said he wanted to ‘‘end it.’’