The investigation into a mysterious incident involving an injured man who showed up at two businesses in downtown Waterbury on Wednesday raises new questions, including whether or not the man was shot.
Vermont State Police released an update on the case Wednesday evening saying “investigators were unable to confirm whether the man’s injuries were the result of gunshot wounds or some other cause.”
Earlier in the day, state police initially described the incident as a “non-fatal shooting.”
The evening update provided some new details about the chain of events before the man was taken by ambulance shortly after 11am to the University of Vermont Medical Center for treatment for non-life threatening injuries.
However, police said due to their investigation they are not identifying the man and that investigators are trying to determine how he was injured and if anyone else was involved.
In their evening update, police said they had questioned several witnesses and planned further questioning. Investigators were also looking for search warrants for several of the cabins at Stowe Cabins in the Woods, located on Cabin Lane along Vermont Route 100, police said.
The first of two calls to authorities about the man came around 10am, police said in the evening update. The owners of the cabins said they met the injured man who reported being shot, but he left after the owners called 911.
At around 11, the man entered the Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea cafe located near the booths. The man was bleeding from his arm and owner Holly Alves said she told staff he had been on a snowmobile in the woods that had broken down or crashed. “She asked to use the phone,” Alves said.
A patron of the cafe who was a traveling nurse along with a staff member with experience as a firefighter offered to give first aid to the man, Alves explained.
The injury appeared serious enough to require medical attention, and the details in the man’s story and appearance seemed off, including that he did not appear dressed for snowmobiling, which prompted the second 911 call.
State troopers were nearby after taking the previous call, and they arrived at the bar within minutes. The man was in a conference room at the Vermont Artisan using the phone and abruptly left when police arrived outside where he was met by more soldiers with guns drawn.
“There was a heavy police presence,” Alves said. “That guy was running from the police.”
EMS also responded to the scene and transported the man to UVM Medical Center, police said.
The investigation involves the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations, the Field Force Division and special teams including the K-9 Unit.
State Police spokesman Adam Silverman said there are still no specific details to share with the public about any suspects or vehicles connected to the crash. “We certainly want members of the community to be aware of this incident, to keep an eye out, to be cautious and to report anything suspicious or out of the ordinary to investigators,” he said.
Anyone with information that could assist investigators in this case is asked to call the Vermont State Police in Berlin at 802-229-9191. Tips may also be submitted anonymously online at vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.