ST. ALBANS - The day after a Burlington man was arraigned in Vermont Superior Court in St. Albans for allegedly shooting a man in a Catholic church parking lot, the bishop of the statewide Diocese of Burlington issued a statement condemning illegal use of drugs as well as “any act of violence against any person.”
Burlington Bishop Christopher J. Coyne noted that the incident was reported to be connected to a “drug deal gone bad.”
“The fact that the crime occurred in one of our parking lots appears to be a coincidence,” he said.
Zakk Trombly, 22, of Burlington was arraigned on February 24 at
Vermont Superior Court in St. Albans and pleaded not guilty to
second-degree attempted murder, St. Albans police said.
He is accused of shooting Dustin Davenport, 22, of Richford in the head; Davenport remained hospitalized in critical condition.
“The shooting did take place on church property in a busy and dense
neighborhood,” Bishop Coyne said in his February 25 statement. “People
were out walking in the good weather. Children were making their way
home from school. Normal parish and Vermont Catholic Charities business
was taking place in the parish center when the six shots were fired.”
No one else was struck by a bullet. “But anyone in the area has been
‘struck’ by violence, from those who tried to help and comfort the
shooting victim, to the parents of the children on the street, to the
neighbors whose quiet afternoon was suddenly punctuated by the sound of
gunfire,” he said. “For all of them, their neighborhood does not seem
quite as safe as it once did.”
St. Albans, with a population of about 7,000, is located in northern
Vermont, about 30 miles from Burlington. It has two Catholic churches:
The shooting took place in a parking lot at Holy Angels Church.
Coyne asked the Catholic community “to stand resolutely against gun
violence and illegal drug use and to continue to support our law
enforcement officials in carrying out their work as they serve the
He urged people to be watchful in their neighborhoods and families
for the signs of illegal drugs while at the same time being supportive
of families who are dealing with addiction as well as those who are
recovering from addiction.
“I offer my prayers for all whose lives have been impacted by the
shooting, for the victim himself and for his recovery, yes, but also the
other victims - the neighbors, the workers, the parish staff, for all
whose quiet day suddenly became one of turmoil and fear,” the bishop