Police officer justified in using deadly force in shooting

December 22, 2022 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A police officer who fatally shot a man with a gun in the Vermont town of Ludlow was justified in using deadly force and won’t face charges, prosecutors said in a report released Thursday.

Michael Mills, 36, was shot Aug. 15 and died Aug. 25 at a New Hampshire hospital. An autopsy determined that Mills died of a gunshot wound to the head.

The shot was fired by Ludlow Police Officer Zachary Paul, 21, who joined the department in July after graduating from the Vermont Police Academy. The shooting followed a series of events, including a vehicle pursuit that ended when Mills hit a tree. When officers tried to get him out of the car, one officer yelled, “Gun.”

Paul “observed Mr. Mills with a firearm on his lap as he repositioned it towards” him, and fired his gun, the report said.

The review by the Vermont attorney general and the Orange County state’s attorney offices said, “a reasonable officer in the situation of Officer Paul would have concluded that there was no alternative but to use deadly force to prevent the death or serious bodily injury of himself and his field training officer.”


This story has been corrected to show the report was released Thursday, not Friday.