Vt. State Police: Argument Over Property Preceded Fatal Woodstock Shooting

Investigators were still processing the scene Wednesday

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Vermont State Police revealed new information Wednesday about an ongoing investigation into an apparent murder-suicide Tuesday in Woodstock, including what preceded the violence, and additional names of people involved.

VSP said Jay Wilson, 45, had been angry over property ownership disputes and money, and those boiled over when his mom and her friend came by to see Wilson on Slayton Avenue to transfer a vehicle.

The mother owns the home where the ill-fated meeting took place Tuesday afternoon, according to investigators.

State police believe Wilson shot and killed Dieter Seier, 67, of Cornish, New Hampshire, who was with Wilson’s mother for that vehicle transfer meeting.

An autopsy conducted on Seier Wednesday determined the cause of death was gunshot wounds to the torso, and the manner of death was homicide, state police said late Wednesday.

"They showed up here to sign over a car and then what it appears is more of the ongoing property disputes continued while they were here," Lt. Todd Baxter of Vermont State Police said Wednesday. "Like, 'Now you’re here in person, I’m going to bring this up as well.'"

Baxter declined to further detail the situation, emphasizing that it is still an ongoing investigation in its early stages. He indicated detectives still want to talk to people close to those involved, to learn more about what led up to the violence.

Wilson’s mother got to safety and was not physically injured, state police said.

"It’s very upsetting for everybody," observed a driver who passed by the scene Wednesday without offering her name. "I’m sure it’s a tragic story."

Investigators said Sgt. Joseph Swanson, a 15-year veteran of the Woodstock Police Department, was fired upon by Wilson from the doorway of Wilson’s home when Swanson arrived to the scene with a colleague. Swanson returned fire.

While an earlier press release indicated Swanson was not hit by gunfire, an update late Wednesday contained information that a graze wound to one of his arms was detected at the hospital. He was treated and released, state police said.

A trip to the hospital is standard in a situation like this, police noted.

In an initial press release Tuesday, VSP said it was unclear if the officer struck Wilson with that returned gunfire. An autopsy is expected to be conducted on Wilson Thursday, according to the Wednesday evening update from VSP.

Since he discharged his service weapon, Swanson will now be interviewed by Vermont State Police about the incident, VSP said, noting that interview is expected to happen next week.

After hours of trying to get Wilson to come out of the home Tuesday, using phones, a megaphone, and even irritant gas, police said they entered the property. Soon after, they heard a gunshot, police said, and found Wilson dead of a suspected self-inflicted wound.

A woman who lives a few doors down told NECN & NBC10 Boston things seemed to have been quiet at the home up until this week.

While the standoff played out late into the night Tuesday, neighbors were told to shelter in place for safety.

"Even beautiful Vermont is not insulated from bad things," observed Liz Nickerson, who lives nearby. Crime scene investigators were still processing evidence throughout the day Wednesday of both the apparent

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