WATERBURY, Vermont — A woman who ignored repeated commands to drop a large caliber handgun was shot by a state trooper in Bristol after officers were called to a home over a suicide threat, the head of the state police said Friday.
Tina LaBossiere, of Crown Point, New York, was hit by one shot in the torso Thursday night, said Col. Tom L'Esperance.
Police then found Norman Michaud, 56, of Bristol, in the driveway of his home with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The two were taken to Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. On Friday, Michaud was reported in critical condition; LaBossiere's condition was fair.
L'Esperance identified the trooper who shot LaBossiere as Sergeant Michael Dion. He said Dion,37, a patrol commander at the New Haven Barracks, is on paid administrative leave, per department policy.
The ordeal began just before 8:30 p.m. Thursday when Michaud called 911 and threatened suicide with a gun. A gunshot was heard after officers arrived.
L'Esperance said LaBoissiere's son also arrived and told police his mother had a gun. He was with police and talking to his mother on the phone, trying to get her to put down the handgun, but she advanced up the driveway, waving it in a threatening manner.
"I saw the weapon myself. It looked like a revolver that had probably a six- to eight-inch barrel," L'Esperance said, although he did not know if it was loaded. "The hammer was actually cocked back, so it was an intimidating weapon to say the least."
He did not know if the weapon that LaBossiere held was the same gun apparently used by Michaud to attempt suicide. He said Michaud had been using alcohol earlier Thursday.
The incident, the fifth officer-involved shooting in Vermont this year, is being investigated by state police from a different part of the state, the office of the Addison County State's Attorney and the Attorney General's office.
L'Esperance said he believes the officer's actions were reasonable considering the circumstances.
There have been three shootings this year involving state police troopers, two involving officers from other agencies, and a sixth case in which a man shot and killed himself during a standoff with police, although officers did not fire.
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