Rutland officer ‘justified’ in fatal shooting at McDonald’s

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RUTLAND — The Attorney General’s Office today announced it has concluded its review of the officer-involved shooting incident that occurred on August 25, 2021, in Rutland.

The AG has declined to prosecute Rutland City Police Department Corporal Christopher Rose for charges related to the fatal shooting of Jonathan Mansilla.

Based on the facts and circumstances and consistent with Vermont law, the Attorney General’s Office has concluded that the actions of Corporal Rose were justified.

At approximately 1:12 p.m. on August 25, 2021, a witness called 9-1-1 to report that someone had backed into their vehicle in the parking lot of the Goodwill located on North Main Street in Rutland.

The witness asked the operator of the vehicle. later determined to be Jonathan Mansilla, for his information and Mansilla fled the scene.

The witness took photos of the vehicle and provided the make, model, and registration number to law enforcement.

Corporal Christopher Rose was assigned and responded to the scene of the accident.

Rutland City Police Department contacted the Vermont State Police and requested a “Be-On-Lookout” Mansilla’s vehicle.

Around 2:13 p.m., Rutland County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant Kevin Geno, who was alerted to the location of Mansilla’s vehicle by the hit-and-run witness, located it traveling north on US Route 7 near the Clarendon rest area.

Lieutenant Geno initiated a traffic stop and the vehicle pulled over, but as Lieutenant Geno exited his police cruiser to approach, the vehicle accelerated and continued north on US Route 7.

Lieutenant Geno pursued the vehicle and advised the Rutland County Sheriff’s Department that he was engaged in pursuit at speeds of up to 95 miles per hour.

Lieutenant Geno observed the vehicle fail to stop for a traffic light at the intersection of Route 7 and Route 103.

Ultimately, Lieutenant Geno lost sight of the vehicle in the vicinity of US Route 7 and North Shrewsbury Road.

At approximately 2:17 p.m., Mansilla drove his vehicle into the driveway of a residence located on North Shrewsbury Road.

Police say he did not know anyone who resided at this residence but parked in front of a garage located on the property.

One of the residents of the property asked Mansilla if he needed assistance. He told the homeowner that he did not need help and that he was changing a tire.

The resident observed Mansilla pacing around the driveway, screaming, and talking on a cell phone.

Home security video from the residence showed Mansilla bent down near the front left side of his vehicle as Rutland County Sherriff’s Lieutenant James Bennick pulled his fully marked police cruiser into the driveway at around 2:28 p.m.

Lieutenant Bennick had been following the pursuit on the radio and was searching in the area that Mansilla was last seen. When Lieutenant Bennick pulled into the driveway, Mansilla had the vehicle on a jack and was attempting to change the front left tire.

Mansilla got in his vehicle, drove the vehicle off the jack, and sped past Lieutenant Bennick over the lawn and back out onto the roadway.

Moments later, Rutland County Sherriff’s deputies began pursuing Mansilla’s vehicle on Cold River Road.

Corporal Rose, who had been monitoring the situation on his radio, advised dispatch that if the pursuit was still just a result of the prior incident, that the sheriff’s department should let the vehicle go to avoid putting the public in unnecessary danger.

Ultimately, the deputies decided not to continue the pursuit due to safety concerns.

Later, at approximately 2:34 p.m., Corporal Rose happened to come across Mansilla’s vehicle on Allen Street.

At that point Corporal Rose observed Mansilla cross the center line and pass him at a high rate of speed.

Mansilla then went left of center, almost hitting Corporal Rose. Corporal Rose then turned his police cruiser around in order to pursue Mansilla.

Upon catching up at the intersection of Allen Street and US Route 7, Corporal Rose observed that Mansilla had apparently crashed into the back of a UPS truck.

As depicted on his cruiser video, Corporal Rose observed Mansilla outside of his vehicle, then lean back into his vehicle to grab something.

Corporal Rose could not see what Mansilla grabbed from the vehicle. Corporal Rose then observed Mansilla run in the direction of the McDonald’s located on the corner of Allen Street and US Route 7.

While Corporal Rose began pursuing Mansilla on foot, Corporal Rose yelled to stop. Corporal Rose also identified himself as a city police officer.

Mansilla entered the north entrance of the McDonald’s.

After Mansilla entered the McDonald’s dining area, he appeared to reach for the locking mechanism on the door but was unable to activate it.

There were at least two families in the dining area, including two small children ages two and seven.

Mansilla then ran toward the front counter, down a hallway, and into the men’s restroom.

At the same time, Corporal Rose entered the dining area and appeared to be utilizing his portable police radio.

Mansilla ran directly into the men’s restroom at approximately 2:35 p.m. Corporal Rose arrived at the men’s restroom door approximately seven seconds later and immediately attempted to open the main door to the restroom by pushing on it with his left hand.

Corporal Rose was unable to open the door due to apparent resistance from the other side of the door.

Approximately six seconds later, Corporal Rose removed his hand from the restroom door and began to walk away from the door. At the same time, Corporal Rose appeared once again to be utilizing his portable radio.

Corporal Rose then turned around and reapproached the restroom door, again pushing on the door with his left hand this time apparently without resistance.

He then backed away from the door, clipped his radio into his belt, and placed his right hand on his holstered firearm.

Corporal Rose then entered the restroom with his firearm drawn. When Corporal Rose entered, Mansilla was in a locked stall.

Corporal Rose identified himself again as an officer and commanded Mansilla to show him his hands.

Mansilla made no response. Approximately 9 seconds later, Mansilla abruptly exited the stall and ran towards Corporal Rose, while screaming, with his arm raised around the head level and carrying in his hand what Corporal Rose believed to be a weapon.

Mansilla ran toward Corporal Rose, Corporal Rose fired three rounds, two of which struck Mansilla in the chest as they both stumbled out of the restroom and into the hallway.

It was later determined that Mansilla was not armed when he was fatally shot and that the object he had in his hand was a cell phone.

Corporal Rose’s account of the events as they occurred in the bathroom was corroborated by an independent eyewitness.

Mansilla was on probation out of Connecticut for enticing a minor, a violation of probation was pending, and according to the New Haven Probation Office, he had absconded from supervision.

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