Vyto Starinskas / Staff Photo The Vermont State Police crime lab truck arrives at the scene at a Danby home Monday where a man was shot to death on Sunday night.
DANBY — Vermont State Police say a New York man was shot and killed while stabbing his ex-girlfriend — an act that the shooter’s stepmother described as an act of self-defense on behalf of another.
But state police investigators, who spent the day Monday combing the scene of the violent altercation on John Corey Road, have remained silent on whether the shooting was justified or whether Michael White, 24, will be charged in the fatal shooting of 28-year-old Aaron Allen of Hudson Falls, N.Y.
The two men are connected by a 22-year-old woman who police did not name but who White’s family members later identified as Heather Thompson.
Allen is Thompson’s ex-boyfriend and is the father of her 15-month-old child, family members said. White has been dating Thompson for eight or nine months and lives with her in a mobile home on the dirt road along with Thompson’s child and White’s 6-year-old child.
Police said Allen has a pending charge in New York for allegedly unlawfully restraining Thompson, who afterward obtained a restraining order prohibiting Allen from coming near her.
But state police say that Allen arrived at the mobile home early Sunday evening when he attacked and stabbed Thompson multiple times. White, who witnessed the attack, used a rifle to fire two shots that struck Allen, who was pronounced dead early Monday morning at Rutland Regional Medical Center, police said.
State police have made no statements about whether the shooting was justified or constituted an act of self defense on behalf of another.
But White’s stepmother, Debbie White, said Monday morning that her stepson was defending not only Thompson but the children who she said were inside the mobile home during the incident.
“If he weren’t there, he could have killed her. He defended his family,” she said.
Allen had visited the couple routinely in recent months, she said, and delivered multiple threats directed not only at Thompson and White but at White’s extended family who live nearby on the road.
“He said he was going to come up here and shoot everyone,” Debbie White said.
She added that her stepson hadn’t been taken into custody by police and had traveled to the hospital in Rutland Monday morning to visit Thompson, who underwent surgery for her injuries.
Vermont state law allows for the use of deadly force in the defense of another if a person is “in danger of being killed, or of receiving great bodily harm” or if a third party “reasonably appeared to be in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.”
State police and Rutland County State’s Attorney Marc Brierre declined to say whether White could face charges for his actions during the incident which remains under investigation. A forensic team with the Vermont State Police crime lab spent the day gathering evidence at the scene which was blocked with yellow police tape.
Once the investigation is complete police say they will forward it to Brierre’s office for review.
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