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Vt. troopers justified in car chase shooting

October 28, 2011

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Vt.—Three Vermont states troopers were justified in shooting at a vehicle driven by a man who had led police on a high speed chase and rammed three police cruisers in Williamstown, the state attorney general said Friday.

The driver was shot and injured during the incident.

Vermont State Police Troopers Paul Feeney, Roger Farmer, and Steven Cuttita had joined a chase that started in Waterbury on April 26 when they spotted the vehicle in Williamstown. They followed it at high speeds on Route 14 and then as it turned off the road into a pull off, where troopers tried to block it from leaving.

Troopers say the driver -- Jeffry Davis -- started ramming the cruiser, partially driving over the front of one of them with his four-wheel drive Jeep Cherokee, causing significant damage, the attorney general's office said.

The troopers got out of their vehicles and fired shots at the Jeep and as it was driving away, the attorney general's office said.

Davis, who was shot and injured, pulled over and was arrested a short time later. He was treated at the scene and a hospital before being released into police custody, authorities said.

"The Attorney General's office concluded that Troopers Feeney, Farmer and Cuttita had a reasonable belief that they were in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury at the time they fired the shots at Davis as he was actively ramming their cruisers. The troopers also had a reasonable belief that, given how Davis had been driving, he posed a substantial danger of death or serious bodily injury to the public if he got away," said Attorney General William Sorrell.

Davis is facing numerous counts of criminal and motor vehicle offenses in Washington and Orange counties, the attorney general's office said.