Potwin

Potwin

TUNBRIDGE — A Bethel man was killed during a hostage standoff in Tunbridge on Saturday, according to the Vermont State Police.

No one else, including the hostage, was injured.

Earlier on Saturday, the police had issued a warning that Jeremy Potwin, 39, Bethel, had escaped the custody of the Vermont Department of Corrections and was considered armed and dangerous.

A later news release said there had been an extensive manhunt for Potwin. Police said they believed he had been involved in an escalating series of crimes over the past several weeks.

At the time of the standoff, police had been looking for Potwin based on two arrest warrants, one for violating conditions of release from custody and the other for escaping from the custody of the Department of Probation and Parole. and for questioning in connection with a number of crimes, including a series of arson fires in Tunbridge.

On Saturday, troopers learned Potwin was at a home on Gage Road in Tunbridge with a woman he knew. Police said Potwin lived in a nearby house, 896 Gage Road in Royalton.

The state police Tactical Services Unit and Crisis Negotiation Unit were called to the scene.

Crisis negotiators began a protracted attempt to encourage Potwin to surrender peacefully. During those negotiations, Potwin fired multiple shots from inside the home toward the outside of the home, police said.

After several hours, Potwin emerged from the home shortly before 8 p.m. carrying two handguns, a Taurus Raging Judge revolver and a Ruger SR 1911 semi-automatic pistol, and holding the woman hostage.

When he pointed a weapon in the direction of the troopers with the Tactical Services Unit, two troopers fired their patrol rifles, and Potwin was hit, the release stated.

On-scene personnel immediately provided first aid to Potwin, but he was pronounced dead at Gifford Medical Center in Randolph.

The hostage was being evaluated at the hospital for precautionary reasons at around 1 a.m., the release said.

The investigation of the shooting is in its earliest stages, police said, and currently involves the state police’s Major Crime Unit, Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Crime Scene Search Team.

On Monday, the troopers were identified as Sgt. Matthew Tarricone of the St. Johnsbury Barracks and Trooper Neil Carey, who is assigned to VSP Headquarters, Special Investigations.

Both troopers are members of the state police’s Tactical Services Unit.

Tarricone joined the state police in January 2012 and was promoted to sergeant in July 2017. Carey was hired in January 2014 and assigned as a trooper to the Williston barracks before transferring to Special Investigations in 2016.

Tarricone and Carey will be placed on paid administrative leave for a minimum of five days, after which the troopers will return to administrative duty while the investigation is under review by the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and the Orange County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The number of times the troopers fired and the number of rounds that struck Potwin will be part of the ongoing inquiry.

The Vermont State Police’s Crime Scene Search Team was on Gage Road Monday collecting evidence and processing the scene. The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington was expected to perform an autopsy Monday on Potwin.

Potwin was on probation after his 2018 conviction for leaving the scene of a 2017 South Royalton motor vehicle crash which killed James R. Arbuckle, 38, of Royalton. Arbuckle was one of Potwin's childhood friends, Potwin pleaded guilty to causing the death.

During the search for Potwin, state police were assisted by the FBI.

This article was updated after the names of the two officers were released on May 13, 2019.

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