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Vermont State Police Kill Poultney Man After Standoff

Members of the Vermont State Police Tactical Services Unit shot and killed a 32-year-old man at his home in Poultney Friday morning, according to a release from Vermont State Police.

Michael Battles was shot and killed, police say, after he pointed a silver revolver at officers

A news release sent by Major Glenn Hall, the commander of the Vermont State Police criminal division, said the shooting ended a standoff at Battles’ home.

According to the statement, police arrived at Battles’ house to respond to a domestic dispute. Battles’ fiancée reported that she feared for her life and had been “dragged to the ground and assaulted” in a neighbor’s yard. Police say she was visibly injured and was treated by rescue personnel at a neighbor’s house.

Battles, in his home, reportedly became angry at police when they arrived and claimed to have weapons in the house. By 11 p.m. Vermont State Police say, the Tactical Services Unit, commonly known as a “SWAT team,” took control of the scene.

Police “breached the front door utilizing the tactical vehicle,” according to the statement, but Battles refused to comply with police orders and closed the door again.

Shortly after 2 in the morning, Battles appeared in an upstairs window with a gun, pointing it at troopers below.

“Fearing for their safety, troopers responded immediately by firing multiple rounds at Battles who then dropped to the floor,” the statement says.

According to the statement, officers found Battles upstairs with a gun in a holster on his hip and a silver revolver in his hand. The police statement says Battles had past felony convictions that made it illegal for him to be in possession of firearms.

“A total of five troopers, all members of the Tactical Services Unit, fired multiple rounds from their department issued patrol rifles,” the statement says. “The deceased, Michael Battles, will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy to determine official cause and manner of death.”

As part of standard protocol, the Rutland County State’s Attorney’s office and the Vermont Attorney General’s office will conduct an investigation into the shooting. In accordance with state police policy, the statement said, all five officers involved in the shooting have been placed on paid leave. Their names are being withheld by police.

Taylor was VPR's digital reporter from 2013 until 2017. After growing up in Vermont, he graduated with at BA in Journalism from Northeastern University in 2013.
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