"Protesters angry about being barred from returning to their tents engaged in a confrontation with police after a woman was arrested. A potential riot was averted when Mayor Bob Kiss persuaded police to release the woman."
11/16/11, "Occupy Burlington shooting victim had gun all week," Burlington Free Press, Sam Hemingway
"Burlington police say the man who died last week of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the Occupy Burlington encampment at City Hall Park had been carrying the gun with him for the previous week.
Joshua Pfenning, a 35-year-old transient, shot himself in the head with a handgun shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday. He was pronounced dead three hours later at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.
Deputy Burlington Police Chief Andi Higbee said Tuesday that Pfenning told the three people in the tent with him just before the shooting about having the gun with him
- at the camp for the past seven days.
“There was no discussion at the camp about him having a gun before it was produced by him in the tent,” Higbee said. “The only time it was present or seen was at the event just minutes before the (shooting) happened.”
Higbee said police still are trying to determine whether the shooting was accidental or an act of suicide. Police have said Pfenning pointed the gun in a threatening manner toward another person in the tent before Pfenning suffered the fatal gunshot wound.
Police have spoken to all three people who were in the tent when the shooting occurred. Two were interviewed shortly after the incident, but police were unable to locate the third person immediately. The three told essentially the same story about the events that led to the shooting, Higbee said.
The shooting prompted police to declare the encampment a crime scene. Thursday night, protesters angry about being barred from returning to their tents engaged in a confrontation with police after a woman was arrested. A potential riot was averted when Mayor Bob Kiss persuaded police to release the woman.
Police on Friday said that because of the shooting and evidence of excessive alcohol consumption and drug use at the encampment, all tents would have to be removed. The protesters have complied with the police order, dismantling the encampment Monday.
The occupation of City Hall Park began Oct. 28, arising out of the national Occupy Wall Street movement.
A memorial service for Pfenning is set for today at an undisclosed site in Burlington. In an obituary published in Tuesday’s Burlington Free Press, Pfenning was described as someone who enjoyed the outdoors, was well-liked by friends, cheered for the New York Yankees and was a rabid reader of books.
He grew up in Castleton and Westfield and...is survived by his mother, three grandparents, two step-parents, a daughter and seven siblings, among other relatives."
via Small Dead Animals blog