BENNINGTON — Local police have identified and released a photograph of the suspected shooter in Wednesday’s homicide on Pleasant Street, describing him as “armed and dangerous.”
Police have also identified the victim. Patrick Mullinnex, 38, of Springfield, Vt., was killed in the shooting that took place Wednesday morning at 324 Pleasant St. in Bennington. Police received a 911 call at 9:15 a.m. reporting shots fired, and upon arrival two minutes later, saw Mullinnex lying on the floor of a first-floor apartment, dead with several bullet holes in his chest.
During the initial investigation, Bennington Police learned the apartment is the residence of a person currently on parole and supervised by the Vermont Department of Corrections. Mullinnex is believed to have been a visitor to the apartment when he was fatally shot.
Raul E. Cardona, 28, of Springfield, Mass., is the alleged shooter. Bennington Police are seeking an arrest warrant for Cardona, who is not currently in custody. Investigators believe he may have fled Vermont and returned to the Springfield, Mass., area.
During the course of the investigation, authorities conducted two search warrants. The Vermont State Police Crime Scene Search Team assisted Bennington Police Department investigators in processing the crime scene. The incident remains under investigation by the Bennington Police Department with assistance from the Homeland Security Unit, State Police and the Bennington County State’s Attorney’s Office.
This was not the first shooting involving Mullinnex as a victim. A preliminary search of the victim’s name revealed an investigation into a recent shooting incident in May of this year in Springfield, Vt. Authorities at the time were notified by the emergency department of the Springfield Hospital that Mullinnex arrived at the hospital with a gunshot wound to his right hand. He was treated and discharged.
Records show he was also charged with selling drugs on several occasions in 2014.
A search of Cardona’s name revealed that in March 2016, he was arrested and charged in Springfield, Mass., with carrying a firearm, possessing a high-capacity magazine, resisting arrest and two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon. Police confiscated a .22 caliber semiautomatic handgun with nine rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber.
Cardona was also arrested two weeks ago in Enfield, Conn., after Enfield police seized a loaded .45 caliber pistol, approximately 230 decks of heroin/fentanyl and $2,495 in cash.
“The Bennington Police Department has had Raul Cardona under investigation for suspected trafficking and distribution of illegal narcotics in the Bennington area,” said Bennington Police Chief Paul Doucette. “He is a dangerous individual and should be considered armed and dangerous. We believe he fired numerous rounds into an individual and took their life. We also believe that he has fled to the Springfield, Massachusetts, area, where he’s originally from. We are currently pursuing an arrest warrant for Mr. Cardona. Once that warrant is issued, we will enter that warrant into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC.) We will then work with the Massachusetts authorities to locate and apprehend him.
“We are currently asking for help from the community. We know he’d been frequenting the South Street and Pleasant Street areas of town prior to this incident. If the public sees Mr. Cardona, we ask that they not try to approach the suspect. Instead, they are encouraged to call 911 or contact us immediately to report his whereabouts.”
“We encourage Mr. Cardona to turn himself in,” Doucette added.
Police are asking anyone with information related to this incident to contact the Bennington Police Department via phone or through the website, benningtonpolice.com.