Investigators: Man Shot Dead Behind School Was Armed With BB Gun

Vermont State Police said Wednesday the man shot and killed by members of law enforcement Tuesday was holding a BB pistol.

Nathan Giffin, 32, of Essex, was shot and killed by police on the athletic fields behind Montpelier High School Tuesday morning.

The head of the major crimes unit of the Vermont State Police said Tuesday night that Giffin was a convicted bank robber who was also facing pending burglary charges.

Giffin allegedly held up the Vermont State Employees Credit Union across the street from the school, then ran onto school property and made threats to officers with the weapon he was holding.

Montpelier High School was placed into lockdown during the standoff to protect students, staff, and teachers inside.

Wednesday, investigators revealed Giffin was actually holding a BB pistol during the standoff, with a realistic design that made it look like a more powerful firearm.

Vermont State Police

Eight troopers with the Vermont State Police have been placed on leave, along with one officer from the Montpelier Police Department, after they fired their service weapons at Giffin.

That fatal shooting will be investigated by the offices of Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault and Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan, to determine if the officers’ use of deadly force was legally justifiable.

An autopsy on Giffin is still pending. It will determine how many times Giffin was struck by police bullets, and where on his body.

The Vermont State Police personnel now on leave following the shooting were identified as Sgt. Cory Lozier, Sgt. Lyle Decker, Sgt. Eugene Duplissis, Sgt. Charles Winn, Sgt. David White, Trooper Christopher Brown, Trooper Brandon Degre, and Trooper Isaac Merriam.

The Montpelier Police Dept. officer placed on leave was identified as Cpl. Michael Philbrick. 

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