Burlington Police: Officer shoots, kills man armed with knives

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BURLINGTON, VT. >> A 76-year-old man wielding two large knives was fatally shot by police following an hours-long standoff in downtown Burlington, authorities said.

Deputy Police Chief Jan Wright said that a man experiencing mental health issues had been holed up inside his apartment for more than four hours Monday and officers were trying to bring him out peacefully. At one point the man, identified as Ralph "Phil" Grenon, was holding two knives when police opened his door; police backed off after they used a stun-gun device on him but it wasn't effective.

Maj. Glenn Hall of the Vermont State Police said after several hours of trying to talk to Grenon, and failing to see him with a camera that had been inserted into the apartment, they eventually entered the apartment. Authorities found him hiding in his bathroom shower, with the knives. Hall said attempts to use "pepper balls" and the stun gun again did not work, and Grenon made a thrusting motion with one of the knives toward the officers and approached them.

Hall said as officers were backing away from Grenon, one of them discharged multiple rounds from his firearm, striking Grenon. The officer's name hasn't been released.

Grenon was taken to the hospital, where he died.

Police Chief Brandon Del Pozo said Grenon was facing eviction and multiple calls were made to police in recent weeks.

Police first responded to the apartment at about 5 p.m. Monday at the request of a crisis worker with the Street Outreach Team to check on Grenon's welfare. On their way, police received a call from the building manager regarding complaints from tenants that Grenon was displaying threatening behavior.

Authorities are investigating. Police have turned over body camera video footage.

An autopsy was scheduled Tuesday.


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