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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Vermont State Police Troopers will not be Prosecuted for Non-Fatal Officer-Involved-Shooting in Bristol

March 31, 2020

CONTACT:    Domenica Padula, Chief Criminal Division, 802-828-3171

Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced today that his office has reviewed the non-fatal, officer-involved-shooting incident that occurred on December 3, 2019, in Bristol, Vermont. The Attorney General’s Office is declining to prosecute Vermont State Police Trooper Robert Helm and Trooper Matthew Hood for possible charges related to the non-fatal shooting of Greg West, Bristol, VT. Based on the facts and circumstances, and consistent with Vermont law, the Attorney General’s Office has concluded that the actions of the officers were justified. In reaching this decision, the Office reviewed all the materials provided by the Vermont State Police, who conducted the investigation.

Troopers Helm and Hood encountered Mr. West when they responded to a 911 call at Lower Notch Road on December 3, 2019. When Troopers Helm and Hood arrived, Mr. West was in possession of a shotgun. The troopers attempted to de-escalate the situation. When Mr. West pointed the shotgun in the direction of both troopers, both troopers opened fire with their patrol rifles and then ceased fire when Mr. West dropped the shotgun and fell to the ground. The troopers immediately rendered first aid to Mr. West.

Mr. West is currently facing criminal charges for allegations closely related to this incident. In accordance with the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct, the Attorney General’s Office, at this time, cannot comment further on the specific findings of its review.

The Office can release additional information related to this decision when the criminal charges pending against Mr. West are resolved.

Last modified: March 31, 2020