BRATTLEBORO — The man accused of a July 29 shooting on Elliot Street was arraigned Tuesday and is being held without bail, while one of the people he allegedly shot at is in federal detention on a weapons charge.
In affidavits filed in court, police said Pedro A. Ocasio, 19, shot at three people — his ex-girlfriend, another woman and a 29-year-old man, Michael Samuels — at a bus stop. None was injured.
Brattleboro police previously said Ocasio shot at two people.
“Based on the fact that Ocasio repeatedly told (his ex) that he would shoot Samuels or any boys with her, and messaged her approximately 90 minutes before the shooting saying ‘Hell end up dead soon,’ I see probable cause to charge Ocasio with attempting to murder Samuels,” Brattleboro police Lt. Jeremy Evans wrote in an affidavit.
In the Windham Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Brattleboro Tuesday, Ocasio pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, aggravated first-degree domestic assault and other charges related to the incident.
Court documents list Ocasio as living in East Hartford, Conn., but as having also spent time in the Brattleboro area.
Officers arrived at the intersection of Elliot Street and Elm Street around 7:30 p.m. on July 29 for reports of gunfire, according to Evans’ affidavit.
Surveillance footage shows Ocasio exiting an apartment building on Elliot Street, gesturing at a nearby bus stop, pulling out a handgun and appearing to shoot before running away, the affidavit states. Samuels then stepped out of the bus stop holding a handgun and ran toward Ocasio, according to Evans’ description of the video.
A Brattleboro police officer soon arrived in the area and located Samuels, who ran toward Whetstone Brook and was found hiding under a bridge, according to the affidavit. Evans wrote that police found a 9mm handgun with an “obliterated” serial number on the ground near where Samuels was spotted. He later said he had tossed the gun while running from police, Evans wrote.
Samuels is now in federal custody on a charge of being a felon in possession of a weapon. Samuels has prior felony convictions in Connecticut for forgery, burglary and the sale of drugs, the most recent in 2014, according to an affidavit written by Special Agent Eric Brimo of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Ocasio turned himself in Monday, several days after police obtained an arrest warrant and announced they were looking for him, according to the Brattleboro Police Department.
After the shooting, Ocasio’s ex-girlfriend told police that he had previously threatened to shoot her and Samuels and sent her threatening messages starting less than two hours before the shooting, Evans wrote in the affidavit.
Authorities charged Ocasio with attempting to murder Samuels and attempting to seriously injure the two women.
Earlier this year, Ocasio was sentenced to about 20 days in prison after pleading guilty to a separate assault in Brattleboro.
According to police affidavits filed in that case, Ocasio assaulted a man on Lawrence Street on Jan. 12 while another man, Chyquan Cupe, 21, filmed it.
The video, which was posted to Facebook, showed Ocasio punching and kicking the man, Eric Hurlbert, 26, of Brattleboro, in the face multiple times, Detective Joshua Lynde of the Brattleboro Police Department wrote.
Cupe is awaiting trial in Vermont on federal drug charges.