RUTLAND—The state police are continuing to investigate the fatal shooting by a Rutland City police officer that occurred Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 25, at a McDonald’s restaurant in the city.
The officer is identified as Cpl. Christopher A. Rose, who has served with the Rutland City Police Dept. for more than five years.
The deceased is Jonathan Daniel Mansilla, 33, of Coral Gables, Florida; his primary residence is known to be Miami. An autopsy performed Thursday, Aug. 26 at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington determined the cause of Mansilla’s death to be gunshot wounds of chest, and the manner of death is homicide — shot by law enforcement.
The series of events that culminated in the fatal police shooting began with a hit-and-run car crash at about 1:15 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of the Goodwill store located at 230 N. Main St. in Rutland. Police agencies in the area were advised to be on the lookout for Mansilla’s vehicle, a black 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt. The victim of the hit-and-run crash later located the vehicle in the town of Wallingford and alerted a member of the Rutland County Sheriff’s Dept. who was on a nearby traffic stop.
Sheriff’s Department Lt. Kevin Geno cleared from the traffic stop and located the suspect vehicle headed north on Route 7 in Clarendon, where the deputy stopped the vehicle at about 2:15 p.m. Shortly after stopping, the operator, later identified as Mansilla, fled the scene and continued north. The deputy initiated a pursuit but lost sight of the vehicle and terminated the pursuit. The sheriff’s department began to search for the suspect vehicle in the vicinity of Route 103, Cold River Rd. and North Shrewsbury Road. Sheriff’s Dept. Lt. James Bennick located the vehicle in a driveway on North Shrewsbury Road, but Mansilla did not follow the officer’s commands and again fled from law enforcement.
Deputies pursued the vehicle onto Cold River Rd. and Stratton Rd., where they determined the pursuit had become too dangerous and terminated the pursuit. Deputies observed the vehicle turn onto Allen St. and head west toward South Main St. in Rutland City. Mansilla’s vehicle crashed into the back of a UPS truck on Allen Street just east of Route 7 and adjacent to the McDonald’s.
The Rutland City and Rutland Town police departments also were responding to the situation. At about the time of the crash, Cpl. Rose became involved in the police response. Mansilla ran from the crash scene and into the McDonald’s with Cpl. Rose chasing him. Inside the restaurant, an altercation ensued between Mansilla and Cpl. Rose, at which time the officer discharged his duty weapon. Mansilla was struck and died of his injuries inside the McDonald’s. The circumstances surrounding that altercation remain under investigation, and no further details will be released until the State Police completes interviews with Cpl. Rose and witnesses.
Upon completion of the VSP investigation, the case will be handed over to the Attorney General’s Office and the Bennington County State’s Attorney’s Office for independent reviews of the police use of deadly force. The Rutland County State’s Attorney’s Office recused itself from involvement in the case.