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Route 7 reopens after seven-hour standoff with drunken shooter

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NEW HAVEN — Vermont State Police early Friday morning took into protective custody a drunken, gun-wielding New Haven resident following a more than seven-hour standoff that closed traffic on Route 7.

It was at around 5:20 p.m. on Thursday, March 29, that troopers from the New Haven barracks responded to a reported domestic disturbance at a Route 7 home in New Haven that they said involved “an intoxicated male with a firearm.”

When they arrived at the home, police confirmed that Thomas Jerome, 51, had been drinking alcohol and was in possession of a firearm. They said Jerome refused to cooperate with troopers and remained inside the home with a rifle.

The woman involved in the disturbance was able to leave, safely.

Through the course of interviews, police learned that Jerome had fired at least one round from the firearm during the early stages of the incident. Authorities said Jerome made numerous threats directed toward himself and police.

Due to the proximity of nearby residences and possibility of public safety concerns, police evacuated neighbors and closed Route 7, for precautionary reasons. The New Haven Fire Department blocked off traffic on Route 7 between Route 17 and Town Hill Road.

State police requested additional assistance from the Vergennes, Middlebury and Bristol police departments. Members from the state police Tactical Support Unit and Hostage Negotiation Unit also responded to the scene.

After 7 hours and 17 minutes of negotiations with Jerome, police took him into protective custody for evaluation.

No one was injured as a result of the incident.

As the Addison Independent went to press, Jerome had not been charged with a crime, however the case in under review by the Bureau of Criminal Investigations in cooperation with the Addison County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The case remains under investigation by police, as well.

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