A Vermont State Police investigation is continuing into both a fatal officer-involved shooting involving a prominent ex-mayor's son, and an apparent homicide detectives believe preceded it.
Investigators released a photo Wednesday of the semi-automatic rifle Vermont State Police detectives say 33-year-old Christopher Louras was firing at local officers Tuesday morning in Rutland.
None of the officers were hurt, but they returned fire, killing Louras.
Louras is the son of the former mayor of Rutland, also named Chris Louras, who held the office for 10 years, ending in 2017.
"In times of tragedy, this community comes together," said Mayor Dave Allaire, Rutland's current leader, who is related to his predecessor by marriage.
Allaire expressed deep concern for and gratitude to the members of law enforcement who were affected by Tuesday's encounter. He also told necn he visited in-person with his predecessor Tuesday evening.
"I have seen him briefly — last night," Allaire said of the former mayor. "And I sent my condolences to him on the loss of his son."
The following officers were announced Wednesday as being on paid leave following the shooting:
- Sgt. Adam Lucia of the Rutland City Police Department
- Sgt. Kenneth Mosher of the Rutland City Police Department
- Cpl. Elias Anderson of the Rutland City Police Department
- Deputy Chief Ted Washburn of the Rutland Town Police Department
Additionally, two of the city's dispatchers and two of its other officers who did not fire their weapons were also given breaks, for their mental health, said Chief Brian Kilcullen of the Rutland City Police Department.
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"We want to make sure we provide the support to them to make sure that they're ready to work," Kilcullen said.
Investigators say the younger Louras had put bullets through the door of the city's police department before engaging the officers in that shootout Tuesday several blocks away, though detectives say it's too soon to know why he targeted the building.
The case then took a turn when a man's dead body was found on the side of the road in Salisbury, about 40 minutes from Rutland.
Police are investigating that death as an apparent homicide, believing it preceded the gunfire at the Rutland Police Department and the fatal shootout.
They're still probing what they see as links between the three incidents. As of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the name of the victim found in Salisbury had not been released by police, pending an autopsy.
Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, was asked Wednesday about the case involving the former mayor's son.
"It appears some of this could be drug related, we're not sure at this point," Gov. Scott said in response to a reporter's question. "The investigation's ongoing. But no one's left untouched, no matter what family you belong to."