Middlebury Resident Injured in Shooting

By Conor Grant

MIDDLEBURY ­­— Middlebury resident Bernard Kimball, 65, was shot outside of his Jackson Lane apartment last Saturday. Police report that the incident occurred at 1:12 a.m. on Saturday morning.

The Middlebury Police Department and other local authorities are still looking for the suspect in the shooting, described as a young male roughly 17 to 19 years of age.

The police report that the young man was roughly six feet tall, with a thin to average build and a goatee. At the time of the shooting, the suspect was wearing blue jeans and a dark-colored vest.

The gunman was also reported to have been accompanied by two unidentified accomplices at the time that the shots were fired. All three of the unidentified criminals fled the scene before the Middlebury Police Department arrived, and they were last scene running south on Jackson Lane early Saturday morning following the shooting.

There is no known motive for the shooting, and the suspect and his two accomplices are still at large.
After the shooting, Kimball was taken to Fletcher Allen Healthcare, where he was treated for his gunshot wound. Kimball is in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

Interestingly, the shooting occurred just one day after Addison County State’s Attorney David Fenster and Vermont State Attorney General William Sorrell each released separate reports on the shooting that occurred in Middlebury in October.

The incident under review occurred on Oct. 4, 2012 when 57-year-old Middlebury resident Demarais engaged members of the Middlebury Police Department in a gunfight for nearly 45 minutes.

Unlike the recent incident with Kimball, the George Demarais gunfight resulted in the Middlebury resident’s death. The two reports released on April 19 indemnified Middlebury Police Department Sgt. Jason Covey and Patrolman Kevin Emilio for exerting deadly force against Demarais, who had a history of depression and psychological instability. The report found that the police officers present at the gunfight were in imminent danger of death and that the use of deadly force was therefore justified.

Both the recent Kimball shooting and the release of the two reports on the Demarais shooting come at a time when the issue of gun safety is a hot topic in the United States and Vermont.

Two days before the Kimball shooting on April 18, Senator Patrick Leahy (D) released a news release on the national gun debate in response to a highly contentious senate decision that killed a background-check bill.

As reported in the Campus in February, the national debate on gun safety that followed the Newtown massacre caused a group of more than 300 protestors to convene outside of the statehouse in Montpelier to protest proposed limitations on gun ownership in the state.

Despite numerous attempts to pass gun control measures, the decision of lawmakers in Vermont foreshadowed the impending national decision and failed to pass any gun control legislation. As a result, the issue  of gun control remains polarizing at both state and national levels.

As the national gun control debate develops, the Middlebury Police Department will continue the search for Kimball’s shooter and his two accomplices. The police are following unspecified leads.

Anyone with any information about the shooting is strongly encouraged to report it to the Middlebury Police Department at 802-388-3191 as soon as possible.

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