Man dies after shooting in Vermont’s largest city
BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A 21-year-old man died after he was shot in the head in a Burlington neighborhood, police said Friday, as the city contends with an increase in gun violence in recent years.
The shooting took place around 7:40 p.m. Thursday in the Old North End. No suspects are in custody, but police say it is believed the parties knew each other and the shooting was not random.
Police identified the victim as Hussein Mubarak, of Burlington.
After the shooting, police were told the suspect may have fled north into a wooded area. A search by police that included dogs and a drone was unsuccessful.
In a statement, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said the shooting death was the first homicide in the city in more than two years.
“Yet it is one of many recent gunfire incidents, part of a very disturbing trend that has dramatically increased since 2020,” Weinberger said.
Last month, Weinberger, city police and the county prosecutor said reducing gunfire episodes in Vermont’s largest city was a top priority.
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At the time, city officials said there had been nearly 40 instances of gunfire in the city since the beginning of 2020. Previously, the city averaged about two a year.
The latest shooting occurred not far from where a former city councilor was slightly wounded last month while sitting outside his home.
The mayor also outlined plans to rebuild the city police force to its authorized headcount of 87 officers. As of last fall, the city had fewer than 70 officers available for operations.
Police say it will take several years before the department will be able to field 87 officers.