Eyewitnesses Address Threat
Woody was shot in front of 18 civilian eyewitnesses by two of the three police officers present. Of the civilians, all wrote statements about the incident the day of the shooting while still at the scene. Most were interviewed by the Vermont State Police that day, and the remaining ones were interviewed the following day. The three officers wrote statements several hours later at the police station and were interviewed the following day by the the State Police.
The Attorney General's report gave a narrative of events in the moments of the shooting that is essentially identical with the accounts given by the three officers and strikingly at odds with the accounts given by the church eyewitnesses. The core of Sorrell's exoneration of the shooters is his assertion that Woody charged the officers wielding his knife at them -- an assertion that is not supported by any witnesses other than the 3 officers. The following excerpts from eyewitness statements pertain to whether Woody threatened anybody, and to what he was doing immediately prior to and during the first shot. 17 out of the 18 eyewitnesses state that Woody was holding the knife to himself just prior first shot. All eyewitnesses asked (17) stated that Woody did not threaten anyone other than himself. None report seeing Woodward charge at Officer Parker.
- Brief Excerpts From Eyewitness Interviews
- Extended Excerpts From Eyewitness Interviews
- Extended Excerpts From Police Statements