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Suspect In Church Street Murder Arrested In Mass.

Burlington Police Department

Police arrested Vermont native Chavis Murphy in Springfield, Mass. Tuesday night in connection with the weekend murder of a New York City man on Church Street in Burlington.

Police say Murphy, 24, was arrested without incident near a hotel where he’d been staying since Sunday afternoon, the day of the shooting. Murphy is accused of shooting Odafemi Adedapo, a 28-year-old from New York City with suspected gang connections, on Church Street in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“Murphy, a Vermont native, is a registered sex offender. He has two convictions for felonious lewd and lascivious conduct, one for felony sexual assault, and one for simple assault,” Burlington police said in a news release.

The release said police used the state’s centralized Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) database to catch Murphy.

“In the immediate aftermath of the incident, a cruiser from the Chittenden County Sheriff’s Department responded with lights and sirens to offer assistance,” the release said. “A few blocks out from Church and King Streets, approximately three minutes after the shooting, the cruiser’s ALPR system logged a license plate reading and an image of a black 2016 BMW X3 headed east, out of the city. This vehicle had been leased to the suspect by Enterprise Rent-a-Car. The ALPR read placed his vehicle in the vicinity of the shooting and fleeing its scene in the immediate aftermath.”

Each car’s ALPR system automatically logs the license plate number and a photo of vehicles it passes, along with information about the exact time and location the system recorded the vehicle. While Vermont law enforcement agencies have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into the systems, successes like this one are relatively rare.

  Burlington police detectives are in Springfield Wednesday “applying for search warrants and collecting evidence,” the release said.

The release said police have been in touch with Adedapo’s sister.

“The BPD has been in contact with the victim’s sister, Bukola Adedapo, and extends its condolences to her and her family,” the release said. “Every person, regardless of how extensive or violent his criminal record, has a family and loved ones. Hopefully this arrest and the subsequent proceedings will offer them a modicum of solace.”

Update 10:12 a.m. Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger released a statement thanking Burlington police for their work on the case:

Last night’s arrest of the suspected shooter brings welcome resolution and clarity to Sunday morning’s homicide. Thank you to our officers who acted decisively and skillfully in the moments after the shooting, and to Chief Brandon del Pozo and his team for leading a swift, successful investigation and arrest involving coordination among multiple law enforcement agencies. The 150-year-old Burlington Police Department has demonstrated once again the critical role that it plays in keeping Burlington a safe and close-knit community. It is now time for the justice system to evaluate this case.

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