The men who fired the shots were Terrance Parker and Marshall Holbrook, both veteran Brattleboro police officers. Four rounds were shot by one officer and three by the other. The third officer, William Davies, did not fire any shots. All three are experienced police officers.
|officer||shots fired||years with Brattleboro PD||years police experience||special training|
|Marshall Holbrook||yes||11||11||member of the Special Response Team
(equivalent of a SWAT team)
|Terrance Parker||yes||13||21||field training officer for new recruits
and a members of the department's hostage negotiation unit
|William Davies||no||2||27 (25 years in New York)||-|
Why such experienced police officers would use such deadly force, and overwhelming deadly force at that, against a person threatening harm only to themself, remains one of many questions begging for an explanation.
The officers further violated Woody's humanity after the shooting by handcuffing him as he lay on his stomach and refusing to remove the cuffs so that a physician in the congregation, Phyllis Wooding, could treat him.
The official statement of the Brattleboro police department makes no mention of Woody's pleas for asylum and sanctuary nor of the threats of death and torture he feared from authorities. As if it were not enough to fatally wound Woody and impede medical care, they found it necessary to silence him. The statement includes the pronouncement of December 3rd State Police press release
|Officers Holbrook and Parker discharged their service pistols when they believed their safety and members of the congregation's safety was threatened.|
So three officers wearing bullet proof vests felt threatened by a 140 pound man wearing a T-shirt and holding a 4 inch knife while each officer was standing at least 8 feet from him, two of them training his 40 caliber semiautomatic weapon on him, while by all accounts from the parishioners who witnessed the event, Woody never threatened anyone but himself, and even elderly parishioners like Polly Wilson did not feel threatened in the least?
Both Holbrook and Parker were returned to active duty, after having been placed on paid administrative leave for 10 days following the shooting, only to withdrawal again to desk duty on February 7 under intense public pressure.