Vt. State Police trooper shoots man on school bus

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September 19, 2012, 7:28 pm
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(NECN: Jack Thurston, Colchester, Vt.) - Vermont State Police said Wednesday that a trooper shot a man who made threats to others, including an officer. Investigators said the shooting took place on a school bus.

Col. Tom L’Esperance, the commander of the Vermont State Police, told reporters this happened late Tuesday night in Danville, when no one else was on the property of the Danville School. L’Esperance said 36-year-old William Mahoney of St. Johnsbury took a car without permission, crashed it after drinking alcohol and then broke into a home.

Police said after the startled homeowner confronted Mahoney, he fled to the nearby school and broke into a bus to hide out.

Mahoney allegedly made bomb threats over the school bus’ radio and said he had a gun. Responding officers who entered the bus said Mahoney was agitated when he reached for a holster on his hip in a threatening manner. Police said that action prompted the trooper to fire his service weapon five times. Mahoney was struck once, police said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Mahoney was listed in stable condition at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. He is likely to face several criminal charges when he is released.

"Although it happened late at night, our concern first thing in the morning were the students coming into school," Col. L’Esperance said. "The principal did the absolutely right thing in getting a message out to parents, telling them that this had happened."

L’Esperance said the school bus where the incident took place was towed away from the Danville School.

L’Esperance said the trooper is on paid administrative leave while the case is being investigated, which is routine in cases like this. The officer’s name was not immediately released.

WPTZ-TV contributed to this report.

Tags: vermont, Colchester, Jack Thurston, tom l'esperance, William Mahoney
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