By Alan J. Keays/VTDigger
RUTLAND – Prosecutors say four police officers who exchanged gunfire with the son of the former Rutland city mayor, killing him in the downtown shootout following a short pursuit, were justified in their actions.
Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan and Rutland County State’s Attorney Rose Kennedy announced the results of their separate probes into the shooting during a joint press conference Tuesday, Feb. 18, in Rutland.
Both prosecutors said they found no criminal wrongdoing on behalf of the officers.
“Based on the facts and circumstances and consistent with Vermont law,” Donovan said, “my office has concluded that the actions of the officers were justified and there will be no criminal charges brought against police officers involved in the fatal shooting of Christopher Louras.”
The shootout took place in a downtown Rutland parking lot near the Walmart shopping center on the morning of Oct. 8, killing Christopher G. Louras, 33, the son of former longtime Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras.
Three of the officers involved in the exchange of gunfire with the younger Christoper Louras were Rutland City police officers and a fourth was a member of the Rutland Town Police Department. The Rutland City police officers were Cpl. Elias Anderson, Sgt. Kenneth Mosher and Sgt. Adam Lucia. Deputy Chief Ted Washburn of the Rutland Town Police Department was also involved in the shootout.
Police said earlier on the morning of the shootout, the younger Louras fired shots into the front entrance of the city’s police station. More than an hour later, according to Donovan, Louras was spotted by officers, leading to a short pursuit and the exchange of fire with the officers.
Police said Louras was armed with a Smith & Wesson M&P-15 rifle.
The body of Louras’ cousin, Nicholas Louras, 34, of Rutland, was found later that same day in Salisbury, about 30 miles north of Rutland. Nicholas Louras is the nephew of both the former mayor Louras and current Rutland City Mayor David Allaire.
Police have said the shootings were linked, but have not said what prompted them to make that connection other than the two men were cousins.
Donovan said Tuesday that the state police investigation into that shooting remains ongoing, awaiting DNA testing results. He did describe Christopher Louras as a suspect in the shooting of his cousin.
At the press conference Tuesday, Donovan declined to say what role, if any, drugs may have played in the Christopher Louras’ actions pending the outcome of the the ongoing homicide probe in Addison County.
“Christopher G. Louras was in crisis, and I think the facts clearly indicate that,” Donovan said. “This was an incredibly scary situation.”