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Brattleboro Officer Cleared In Killing Of Unarmed Suspect

Attorney General Bill Sorrell cleared a Brattleboro police officer who shot and killed an unarmed suspect with a shotgun during the execution of a search warrant, Sorrell’s office announced today.

“The office has concluded, as a matter of law, that Brattleboro Police Sergeant Mark Carignan was legally justified in the use of deadly force when he twice shot Michael Santiago with his shotgun,” the release said.

On April 4, as police were executing a search warrant on a room Santiago was staying in with Amanda Piermarini at America’s Best Inn in Brattleboro, Carignan shot Santiago twice after the suspect refused to show his hands and “advanced towards the officers while moving his right shoulder and arm – an officer described the motion as being consistent with drawing a firearm,” the release said.

According to Sorrell's statement, police, prior to the search, “received information from law enforcement in a neighboring jurisdiction indicating that Piermarini and Santiago may have recently acquired several firearms.”

The Bennington County State’s Attorney’s Office also reviewed the case and found Carignan’s use of force was justified.

Carignan is the second officer to be cleared in two weeks. On June 18, Sorrell’s office said Sgt. Michael Plusch was justified in shooting a suspect inside the police station on April 22.

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