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Hardwick Shooting Likely Drug Related

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HARDWICK – Nineteen year old Miles Scott Watson of Pennsauken, N.J., was shot at a 7 Hillside Street residence in Hardwick on Tuesday afternoon, April 16, according to Hardwick Police Chief Michael Henry, who reported only one shot was fired.

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The home of Elaine Brochu where nineteen year old Miles Scott Watson of Pennsauken, N.J. was shot on Tuesday, April 16. Watson was transported by helicopter to UVM Medical Center in Burlington with non-life-threatening injuries.

Henry said the victim had non-life-threatening injuries, but was uncooperative and provided no details to police about who had shot him, or how many people were in the house at the time.

At 3:38 p.m., the Hardwick Fire Department was called to assist Hardwick Rescue in setting up a landing zone for a Dartmouth Hitchcock Advanced Response Team (DHART) helicopter at the Hazen Union School’s athletic fields.

photo by Ross Connelly
EMS workers take a person out of a Hardwick Rescue Squad ambulance in the late afternoon of Tuesday, April 16, after it was driven onto the athletic field at Hazen Union School. A DHART helicopter flew in and awaited transfer of the shooting victim.

Megan Cane, who lives close to the school, was returning to town on Route 15 and noticed two ambulances at a house up the hill from Poulin Lumber as she passed by.

Greg Patoine, a student on the baseball team, who also serves as a volunteer firefighter had already put his cleats on when he was called to respond in his role as a firefighter, assisting at the field.

After returning home the helicopter passed over Cane’s house and landed in the Hazen Union athletic fields where, by then the baseball team had been asked by firefighters to move off the field.

E-sports students who had come out of the school to watch the helicopter were asked to return inside.

The helicopter was met by a Hardwick Rescue ambulance and the victim was transferred to the helicopter, which was on the ground for approximately 15 to 20 minutes before taking off, according to the Hardwick Fire Department.

Joe Nudell, visiting his mother from San Francisco, had heard sirens coming from Morrisville as he was running out that direction. Later, shortly before 4:30 p.m., while running east on Wolcott Street from Hillside to Union Street, he saw two ambulances with a sheriff’s car up the hill at the 7 Hillside Street Victorian house.

Police later obtained a warrant to search the home, belonging to Elaine Brochu, discovering drugs and confirming the shooting was almost certainly drug related, according to Chief Henry.

The area was cordoned off later that day, but showed no signs of the incident in the early afternoon the following day.

A Hardwick police report on April 16, at 8:20 p.m., said, “on Tuesday at approximately 1548 hours, a male called 911 to report he had been shot inside a residence at 7 Hillside Street in Hardwick. Hardwick Police, Morristown Police, Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department and Vermont State Police responded to the scene. The suspect(s) fled prior to the officer’s arrival. The male victim was the only person at the residence upon the officers arrival. Hardwick Rescue responded and the male was transported by DHART to UVM Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.”

photo by Ross Connelly
A shooting victim on a stretcher is loaded into a DHART helicopter. Area emergency workers met the helicopter, which landed on the Hazen Union School athletic field Tuesday afternoon, April 16. The helicopter left at 4:55 p.m., less than an hour after it had arrived.

Because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), medical providers must protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. As a result, detailed information is not available about the victim of this shooting.

The phrase ‘non-life-threatening injuries’ can mean a lot of things according to Hardwick Rescue’s Vice-President Tyler Molleur. While something simple like a paper cut is non-life threatening, much more serious things may also be non-life threatening and may require levels of care beyond what EMTs are trained to offer.

Molleur explained that there are many factors involved in making decisions about emergency medical care and, during emergencies, decisions must be made based on what information is available.

Penetrating trauma, as would occur with a bullet wound, carries its own special considerations for care. Calling in the DHART helicopter might have been warranted because medical staff accompanying it have critical care experience beyond what EMTs are trained to offer, Molleur said.

In addition, transporting a patient to a Level 1 Trauma Center like the UVM Medical Center may be warranted if the patient requires a high level of specialty care, he added.

“We are in the preliminary stages of the investigation. At this point, it appears to be an isolated incident and there is not a threat to the public,” Henry concluded.

On Monday, April 22, Chief Henry confirmed the investigation is continuing.

Megan Cane is a Hazen Union Community Journalist living in Hardwick.

Paul Fixx is editor of The Hardwick Gazette and lives in Hardwick.

Megan Cane

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