This story has been updated to include new details of the investigation released Wednesday by the Burlington Police Department.
Two shootings took place Sunday night in Chittenden County that resulted in two people dead. The question that remains: were both people shot and killed by the same shooter?
South Burlington Police have not named a suspect for the Oct. 2 homicide on Williston Road, but preliminary evidence gathered by Burlington Police points to Denroy Dasent, the suspect in the Oct. 2 Burlington murder, being responsible for the South Burlington homicide as well as a shooting in Burlington's City Hall Park on Sept. 28.
Vermont State Police divers recovered a Glock pistol from Lake Champlain on Tuesday believed to be involved with both homicides, said Acting Chief Jon Murad of the Burlington Police Department in an email Wednesday. Further investigation of the gun by police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is needed to confirm this finding.
Dasent owns Island Passion, a Caribbean restaurant at University Mall, with his wife and is a resident of South Burlington. He has been arrested twice in Vermont for misdemeanors and convicted of one. He also been convicted of crimes in California and New York and is a convicted felon, according to Burlington Police.
He was arrested Sunday night. On Monday he was charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Sheikhnoor Osman and pleaded not guilty. His attorney did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.
Previous coverage:Two people killed in shootings Sunday
Police respond to second shooting on Williston Road
Almost three hours after the Burlington shooting took place, South Burlington Police responded to an incident of someone shot at 11:06 p.m. at Swiss Host Motel and Village on Williston Road. Detective corporal Nicole Moyer of the Burlington Police Department wrote in court documents that South Burlington Police officers talked to a witness at the scene who identified the suspect who shot Brian K. Billings as "Delroy" and said that he and his wife owned a restaurant in the University Mall food court. Moyer said in the process of Dasent getting arrested near Spot on the Dock, Dasent talked to Det. Sgt. Mike Beliveau in a recorded conversation, at one point making the statement: "So I clap them out. You understand what I just said? I shot two of them..."
Police have also connected a car registered in Dasent's name to the Sept. 28 shooting in which a person exited Dasent's vehicle, shot in the direction of someone in City Hall Park and left the scene in the same car. Moyer wrote in the affidavit that police found the car in the University Mall parking lot and found Dasent inside working at his restaurant. They interviewed him and he said he owned the car and a gun. Police then applied for a search warrant of his residence and among other other things, found Blazer Auto 10mm ammunition. This same caliber and brand of bullets was found at the scene of Osman's murder, according to police. Witnesses to the Burlington murder also told police that Dasent was the same man who was responsible for the Sept. 28 shooting, but police said the investigation is ongoing.
Murad said in the Oct. 3 press conference that police think the Sept. 28 shooting, which did not injure or kill anyone, was due to disputes about money but said it's too early to know a reason for the murder of Osman. Police said in the affidavit filed in court that 185 Pine St., where Osman was murdered, is known among local law enforcement for illegal-narcotics-related incidents.
Murad maintained that most of the gunfire incidents in the past year in Burlington have been the result of interpersonal relationship conflicts involving personal beefs or ego, not disputes over money or drugs. The Sept. 4 Burlington homicide in City Hall Park, however, is believed to be narcotics-related, said Murad.
"Over the past two-and-a-half years as we've seen gunfire increase in Burlington and in the surrounding areas as well, but particularly in the Queen City, drugs has not been a major driver of those, although it has been an ancillary part of participants' lives," Murad said.
Later in the press conference Murad said police are worried that gunfire incidents are increasingly related to narcotics and that the public can report narcotics transactions through their online tip form at https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/Police/DrugTipForm or by calling 802-540-2420.
This article originally appeared on Burlington Free Press: Burlington crime: Police investigating connection between Oct. 2 shootings