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DEA to investigate fatal Burlington, Vermont drug raid

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- The Drug Enforcement Administration will investigate a police raid that left a drug suspect dead and bullet holes in a neighboring house from law enforcement officers' guns, the city's mayor said.

In a statement Wednesday, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger called the man killed in the raid, Kenneth Stephens, "a dangerous individual with a long record of engagement in serious violence and drug trafficking."

But Weinberger said he was concerned that bullets fired at Stephens on Tuesday evening had "strayed into another home."

He said Burlington Police Chief Brandon Del Pozo met with the DEA's top New England agent and he'd been assured that the DEA's office of inspector general would review what had happened.

Police, after investigating Stephens for more than a month, raided his home under the authority of a federal no-knock search warrant. Sixteen federal, state and local police were involved in the raid.

Police say Stephens pointed a muzzle-loading rifle at officers who were entering the home, and state Trooper Matthew Cannon and DEA Agent Tim Hoffmann fired 13 shots from their rifles.

Neighbors say at least one of the bullets went into their home, narrowly missing people inside. Stephens had been suspected of dealing heroin and cocaine from the apartment. Police did not say if drugs were found in the home.

Meanwhile, the Burlington Free Press reported that about two dozen people held a candlelight vigil Wednesday evening across the street from the house Stephens' home. Some attended to protest what they saw as "police violence," to call for transparency by law enforcement, to mark a death or to decry the war on drugs.

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