Burlington’s police chief says latest homicide was most likely drug-trafficking related

Bruce Parker

RIGHT AT THE CENTER OF THE CITY: The most recent and fatal of the shootings in Burlington this year was close enough to City Hall that one of its security cameras caught the incident and helped lead to the arrest of two suspects.

On Thursday, Burlington’s mayor and police chief spoke out about one of the more concerning gun crimes of the year — an apparent targeted killing near City Hall Park that may have involved drug traffickers from out of state.

The shooting, which occurred on Sunday, Sept. 4, marked the city’s 23rd gun crime of the year. A disturbing trend that follows the defunding of the department in 2020.

Even the mayor, a liberal Democrat, noted the trend in violence.

“Throughout 2022 we’ve been experiencing as a community a much higher number of gunfire incidents than we have historically,” Mayor Miro Weinberger said. “Ending this spike in gun violence is the city’s highest priority.”

He pledged that he and Acting Police Chief Jon Murad are resolved to do everything in their powers to reverse the situation.

“If you commit a gun crime in Burlington, we will do everything we can to hold you accountable,” Weinberger said.

The department now has two suspects in custody following the recent shooting. This marks the third consecutive week in a row that the city’s department has made arrests related to shootings.

Murad shared more about these latest arrests. He said his detectives did “extraordinary work” to track down the out-of-state visitors.

“They are right up there with any detectives you can imagine in the country, in so far as being able to handle a case,” he said of his officers.

Murad praised local, state, and federal agencies for their collaboration on the case. He thanked the ATF, the DEA, Homeland Security Investigations, the Vermont State Police, the South Burlington Police Department, and even the Department of Motor Vehicles.

According to Murad, the offenders are out of state residents. In one case the suspect had eight felony convictions in New Jersey before this incident in Burlington.

The victim was Bryan C. Rogers II, 32, of Philadelphia. His attacker approached him from behind without warning and shot close range in an apparent targeted killing. The suspect was seen by witnesses and caught on nearby security cameras on the City Hall Building. The suspected shooter was one of the two arrests made this week.

Murad shared how detectives were able to build their case against the suspect.

“Detectives were able to look at his progress through that part of the downtown all the way up until the moment of the murder, and then also to assess his flight with associates in a vehicle,” he said.

The challenging part was that police did not start with a lot of information about the suspect.

“Our suspect was new to us, this was not akin to many of the other gun violence incidents that we have dealt with over the past two-and-a-half years,” Murad said. “Most of those sprang out of immediate altercations.”

He added while he’s proud of his officers’ work, it comes on top of an “unprecedented” workload that officers have taken up since their staffing was largely depleted beginning in 2020.

“We’ve never had a period of two-and-a-half years where we’ve had 49 gunfire incidents, we’ve never had this kind of volume,” Murad said. “… Basically, almost every other week there has been some kind of gunfire incident that has needed investigation.”

The chief added that he “strongly suspects” that both the perpetrator and victim were involved in illicit drug trafficking activity, and that they are “not people who are long-term residents of Burlington.”

“These are relatively new arrivals and I do believe that that is a factor certain in their presence in the city,” Murad said.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at bielawski82@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Beyond My Ken and Bruce Parker
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9 thoughts on “Burlington’s police chief says latest homicide was most likely drug-trafficking related

  1. So have the num nuts figured out yet that diversity is not our strength, but is
    our problematic cause of increased crime? Until they do the crime will only
    increase as the leftoids seem to want no repercussions for blacks who do the
    crimes..which only invites more crime…

  2. These drug related shootings have been going on for a long time now in Vermont.
    Defunding the police and hindering them in any way from doing their jobs is costing lives.
    The people that are doing this to the police really do have blood on their hands.

  3. Wow, a big “duhhhh” to BTV Mayor:

    “(it was) an apparent targeted killing near City Hall Park that may have involved drug traffickers from out of state.”….Duhhh, anyone with half-a-brain (sorry you liberals) could have told you that. >>Out of state minority drug dealers<<<, fully armed… in progressive &"defunded" BTV = murder & mayhem.? Next:

    "Mayor Miro Weinberger said. “Ending this spike in gun violence is the city’s highest priority.”
    Liar, you are not interested at all….just a progressive, bleeding heart politician. To do what you say (end gun violence) will necessitate removing your Liberal monoliths…you WILL have to focus on the Black criminal population. But then, you are a racist (as you accuse ANY conservative?) ……Why are Blacks 1.5% of VT population but make 24% of VT's prison population? Just a sad fact. To FIND a solution – you first have to ADMIT the facts & truth…and youliberals & progressives never will. Next:

    "He pledged that he and Acting Police Chief Jon Murad are resolved to do everything in their powers to reverse the situation."
    No you won't! You will not do anything. Empty words that all Liberals actually believe (like the relentioulsy used Liberal-Dem slogan: 'We can do better" :)….? Best way to halt violence & murders in BTV is to enact "Stop & Frisk"….Even low IQ Criminals will figure very quickly NOT TO BE ARMED IN BTV ! Capiche, Mr. Weinberger?

  4. Burlington’s police chief says latest homicide was most likely drug-trafficking related.

    WOW! Ya think? How did he figure that out.

  5. Hey Chief, come on the ” Queen City ” doesn’t have a drug or crime problem, just ask
    the ” gaggle of fools ” known as the City Council, the same ones that defunded your
    policing staff……………….. did I mention fools !!

    Drug & Gun crimes have pretty stiff sentencing, lock the out-of-state scum bags up and
    they stop coming to our state, but they see the liberal leadership with its slap on the wrist
    punishment ………………. come one come all.

    The only good news with these shootings is they are ” thinning ” the herd out !!

  6. Let’s not forget fentanyl . Have to wonder about all those “died suddenly” obituaries. Fentanyl is a product of China. China sends it across Joe Biden’s Open Border with thousands of those illegal aliens; invaders. To kill Americans. Hunter has nefarious business dealings with China. ” The Big Guy” gets 10%. Who’d you vote for?

  7. Read earlier today that Asheville NC, also a leftist cesspool formerly a lovely small city has had a sharp increase in both violent crime and homeless populations since embracing defunding their police. Who woulda ever thunk it?

  8. All due respect to Chief Murad, but it doesn’t take the investigative powers of Charlie Chan or Sherlock Holmes to deduce that those involved in the latest downtown homicide were downcountry opioid merchants engaged in a turf war or a debt collection intimidation. The Mayor said :”If you commit a gun crime in Burlington, we will do everything we can to hold you accountable”. He had better check with the Chittenden County State’s Attorney first. She had shown a propensity to look at “root causes” rather than to actually hold people accountable. What all public officials in Burlington (especially the City Council) need to realize is that there are visitors from large downcountry urban areas who dont share Vermont’s polite way of doing things and they routinely settle disputes using violence with impunity, and no regard for bystanders. Stop blaming inanimate objects for this utter failure to use the criminal justice system for it’s intended purpose: to remove dangerous, violent people from polite society. EVERY violation of our existing, tough Federal gun laws should be prosecuted by our US Attorney to the fullest extent of the law.

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