ROCKINGHAM - A Bellows Falls man who was actively being sought by police following a set of aggravated assaults that had taken place in recent days was injured overnight when he was confronted and shot by police at a residence in Rockingham.
In a press release issued Saturday morning, the Vermont State Police said that during the manhunt overnight in the Bellows Falls area for an individual accused of several aggravated assaults, the Vermont State Police encountered the suspect, John-Victor Wetherby, at 22 Cota Heights Road in Rockingham.
Preliminary investigation indicates the suspect was armed, police said, adding that during the ensuing confrontation, a member of the state police fired his weapon at Wetherby, who was struck and injured.
Wetherby, 33, of Bellows Falls was transported to Springfield Hospital, where he was treated and then released into the custody of law enforcement.
No state troopers, nor any members of the Bellows Falls Police Department, who were also on the scene at the time of the 12:30 a.m. incident, nor other individuals were harmed during the encounter, police said, adding at an investigation into the officer-involved shooting is in its earliest stages by the Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit and Bureau of Criminal Investigations.
"Per policy, the trooper involved has been placed on paid administrative leave for a minimum of five days, and then the member will return to work on administrative duty status. The trooper’s name is being withheld at this time, as is standard practice. The state police investigation will be independently reviewed by the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and the Windham County State’s Attorney’s Office to determine whether the use of force was appropriate," the press release said.
Wetherby is the suspect in an aggravated assault that occurred about 1 p.m. Friday, March 8, on Hyde Street in Bellows Falls.
Wetherby also had a warrant for his arrest outstanding on suspicion of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and violation of probation from the Windham County Sheriff’s Department.
UPDATE RELEASED SATURDAY AFTERNOON BY VERMONT STATE POLICE:
As the investigation continues into this morning’s officer-involved shooting in Rockingham, John-Victor Wetherby has been taken to the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield and jailed on warrants for aggravated assault, and for violation of probation arising from a 2018 conviction for reckless endangerment.
The probation warrant requires that Wetherby is jailed without bail. The Bellows Falls Police Department is continuing its investigation, as well, into the assault on Hyde Street on Friday, March 8. Charges related to these incidents are expected to be filed as early as Monday, March 11.
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