Officer in fatal shooting says he thought suspect had weapon
RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — A Rutland City Police officer who fatally shot a man inside a McDonald’s restaurant after a vehicle chase last month said the man ran toward him holding what the officer thought was a weapon, Vermont State Police said Thursday.
The object turned out to be a cell phone, state police said, as they released more details about the shooting on Aug. 25 in Rutland. Jonathan Daniel Mansilla, 33, of Miami, died of gunshot wounds to the chest.
Police were on the lookout for Mansilla’s vehicle after a hit-and-run crash in a parking lot on North Main Street in Rutland.
They then spotted Mansilla’s vehicle heading north on U.S. Route 7 in Clarendon and a deputy sheriff stopped him. Mansilla drove away but a second sheriff’s deputy again located him in a driveway. Mansilla fled again, police said, and then crashed into a UPS truck on Allen Street just east of U.S. Route 7 and adjacent to the McDonald’s.
Rutland City Police officer Christopher Rose told Vermont State Police that he saw Mansilla run from the scene and into the restaurant. Witnesses told police Mansilla had fled into the men’s bathroom. Rose entered the men’s room where Mansilla exited a stall and ran toward him holding the cell phone that Rose perceived to be an unknown weapon, police said. Rose fired three shots, hitting Mansilla twice in the chest, state police said.
State police said they expect to complete their part of the investigation in the coming weeks and to turn over the matter to the offices of the Vermont attorney general office and Bennington County state’s attorney for independent reviews of Rose’s use of deadly force.