“I needed to do something.” Burlington cop arrests St. Albans man moments after convenience store shooting

“He pointed the gun at me so I ran,” said a Burlington man who witnessed Wednesday’s shooting at Champlain Farms in downtown Burlington.

He’s still shaken up by what he saw, and asked that NBC5 didn’t use his name or show his face.

“(As I was) running, I (heard) I believe three or four more shots and a couple screams,” he said.

What he heard was the sound of Jahi Bennett-Gooden, 23, allegedly fire his gun at the convenience store around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Bennett-Gooden told police he got upset when employees wouldn’t let him charge his wireless headphones, so he fired three shots inside and fired three more outside before he ran.

“When I saw him run I was pretty upset, but the first officer was right there. (She was at the) right place at the right time,” said the eye-witness.

“I was driving down Main Street and all of a sudden I (saw) this guy shooting away and I was just surprised at first. Then I was like, ‘I need to do something. I need to get this guy before something bad happens,” said Burlington Police Officer Luz Winters.

She chased him and arrested him minutes later without any trouble.

“He had one round in the weapon and other magazines, so it was good luck and lucky that there wasn’t anybody around,” said Winters.

“Officer Winters took exactly the right actions,” said acting Burlington Police Chief Jennifer Morrison.

She wonders if the situation could have been avoided.

“I am distressed to learn that this same individual had encountered law enforcement four times within the past week in other communities. All four of them were gun-related complaints, and he still had the gun,” said Morrison.

The St. Albans man is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to three felony charges: assault and robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted second-degree murder.

“I definitely was pretty afraid for my life,” said the witness.

He’s glad nobody was hurt.