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Burlington Police Investigate Fatal Shooting On Church Street

Taylor Dobbs
VPR file
Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo and Deputy Chief Jan Wright held a Sunday news conference about a murder on Church Street Sunday morning.

Burlington police have identified the man shot and killed early Sunday on Church Street as Odafemi Adedapo, 28, of New York City.  Police say Adedapo is known to the New York City Police Department as a member of the Cashford Crips, a criminal gang operating out of East New York, Brooklyn.

Adedapo was found carrying “a quantity of alleged crack cocaine” at the time of his death, according to a statement from Burlington police. Chief Brandon del Pozo said at a Sunday news conference that "a quantity of narcotics was recovered from his [Adedapo's] person that's inconsistent with personal use."

Adedapo was allegedly involved in an argument at the Zen Lounge at 165 Church Street a short time before he was shot, according to police. “Witnesses state he was arguing with at least one other male. He then left the lounge, where he was subsequently shot,” the police said in a statement.

The shooting occurred as bars and nightclubs in Burlington closed for the evening and Burlington police officers were on post nearby in the vicinity of Church and Main Streets. They heard the gunshots and responded in less than a minute, del Pozo said Sunday.

Police could not detect a pulse on Adedapo, so they immediately began administering CPR. Adedapo was transported to UVM medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead. Examination revealed that Adedapo had been shot numerous times with a handgun.

Despite the fast response, del Pozo said police don't have a reliable description of the shooter.

"We don't have a description, but one thing I will say is that there are members of the public right now out there as we speak who know exactly who did this - either as eyewitnesses or as acquaintances with the perpetrator or even as friends with the victim," he said at a news conference at the Burlington Police Department's headquarters at 1 North Ave. in Burlington. "I'm waiting to hear from folks who have that knowledge, and I know that they're minutes from here, walking or driving. Or biking."

Credit Taylor Dobbs / VPR
Burlington Police are still searching for suspects of a fatal shooting on Church Street Sunday morning.

Sunday afternoon, a Burlington police officer sat in an idling cruiser in front of a taped-off section of sidewalk on Church Street, down the block from Zen Lounge. The shooting followed an incident at the bar last weekend in which a man threatened to shoot people after he was kicked out of the nightclub.

Chief del Pozo said the two incidents aren't connected, but he said police are keeping a close eye on Zen Lounge.

"I mean they did eject somebody armed with a pistol last week, and now there's an incident that happens there this morning that resulted in death by gunfire, so we'll be paying very close attention to that, and to the club."

The Burlington shooting was apparently not the first time someone shot at the New York man. Police say that on Sept. 2 , 2015 Adedapo was shot on Schenck Avenue in Brooklyn by a group of attackers who remain at large.

Adedapo has 20 prior arrests in New York City, a dozen of them felonies, including two felonies for robbery, three for criminal possession of a loaded firearm, two for assault, seven arrests for criminal contempt (the violation of a restraining order), and miscellaneous other charges, police said.

Witnesses or persons with information regarding this homicide are asked to call the Burlington Police Tips Line at(802) 540-2113, or Champlain Valley Crimestoppers at(802) 864-6666. Tips to Crimestoppers may be made anonymously.

Update 11:40 a.m. This post was updated to include new information from Burlington police.

Update 4:18 p.m. This post was updated with information from the Burlington Police news conference Sunday afternoon.

John worked for VPR in 2001-2021 as reporter and News Director. Previously, John was a staff writer for the Sunday Times Argus and the Sunday Rutland Herald, responsible for breaking stories and in-depth features on local issues. He has also served as Communications Director for the Vermont Health Care Authority and Bureau Chief for UPI in Montpelier.
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