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Shooting update: Burlington victim recovering, trans suspect held at women’s jail

By Guy Page

Tovi Rose Mesick, 41, the alleged shooter of Stephen Furtado of Salmon Run Apartments in Burlington, is scheduled to appear in court today for the first time since he pleaded innocent to the February 5 shooting.

Mesick, a Jeffersonville resident and decorated U.S. Army combat veteran formerly known as Christopher Mesick, is being housed at the women’s correctional facility in South Burlington.

“Tovi Mesick is currently housed at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility (CRCF),” DOC spokesperson Haley Sommer told VDC this week. “This facility only houses the female population. As with all incarcerated individuals, she is housed in a unit that best meets her needs and best protects her safety and the safety of the population/staff.”

“I also wanted to note that Mesick identifies as transgender female, and her pronouns are she/her/hers. In accordance with DOC directive and policy these are the pronouns the Department uses when referring to Mesick,” Sommer said.

Furtado, 44, is recovering well from his injuries, Burlington police confirmed to VDC today.

According to Vermont News First reporter Mike Donoghue, Mesick was on foot when taken into custody by Winooski Police about a half hour after the 6:30 p.m. shooting, police said. He was jailed with bail set at $50,000.

Mesick, who won a Purple Heart while serving in the U.S. Army as a gunner during combat in Iraq, later transitioned while a major federal gun prosecution was underway in Vermont, records show, Donoghue reported.

Three years ago Mesick was charged with being both a convicted felon and a drug user in illegal possession of firearms, federal court records show. Those charges were eventually dismissed for technical reasons. Court papers show he petitioned the court to have authorities give back the guns.

The Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and state police found 16 firearms, including several high-powered assault rifles at Mesick’s Main Street home in January 2020. They also found 400 pounds of ammunition and a large bag of marijuana at the Mesick home, the ATF said in court papers at the time.

Federal prosecutors later dropped the charges in August 2021 because they believed they could have trouble showing Mesick had knowledge of both crimes due to circumstances.

Mesick was on state probation at the time for aggravated assault with a firearm by pointing it at a victim in Burlington in September 2017, records show.

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