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Shooting death of Vt. guardsman investigated

Apr. 29, 2014 - 12:26PM   |  
Kryn Miner died Friday evening from a gunshot wound. Miner served with the Vermont Army National Guard during its 2010 deployment to Afghanistan. He leaves behind a wife and four children.
Kryn Miner died Friday evening from a gunshot wound. Miner served with the Vermont Army National Guard during its 2010 deployment to Afghanistan. He leaves behind a wife and four children. (Elizabeth Murray/Burlington Free Press)
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ESSEX, VT. — The death of combat veteran Kryn Miner, 44, of Essex Junction involved a second person and is under "active investigation" by police, Chittenden County State's Attorney T.J. Donovan says.

"They're investigating it as a death by shooting of an individual by another," Donovan said Monday evening.

Miner died Friday evening from a gunshot wound. The shooting occurred at 5 Onondaga Ave.

Among his military experience, Miner served with the Vermont Army National Guard during its 2010 deployment to Afghanistan. He leaves behind a wife and four children.

Meanwhile, a Burlington gym has started a fundraiser to benefit Miner's family.

Police on Monday declined comment on the status of the investigation. Police have said there is no threat to the public stemming from the incident, but the authorities are declining to say whether Miner's death is being classified as a homicide.

Essex police Lt. Rick Garey said information regarding Miner's death will most likely be released within the next few days, and "nothing at all" could be released Monday afternoon.

The Vermont State Police crime lab is assisting in the investigation. No manner of death has been released, and a death certificate has yet to be filed, according to the Vermont Health Department.

According to Maj. Christopher Gookin, a Vermont National Guard spokesman, Miner held the position of chief warrant officer 2 and was assigned to the headquarters company of the Guard's 86th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Staff Sgt. 1st Class Peter Pizzagalli of Charlotte said Monday he got to know Miner while they were serving in Afghanistan and called him a "very knowledgeable and experienced soldier."

Pizzagalli said Miner's job and that of his co-workers was to question detainees after a village was secured and the "bad guys" had been rounded up.

"We did missions together," Pizzagalli said. "He worked in the intelligence division of our headquarters division and would go out with us to gather whatever intelligence he could."

According to an interview with Miner in February with ABC-7 TV in Chicago, Miner said he served in the U.S. Army for more than 25 years.

He was deployed 11 times in seven years, he said. He was diagnosed in 2011 with post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury, he said during the interview.

Miner appeared on the Chicago-based TV station to speak about his involvement with the Lone Survivor Foundation, a Texas-based nonprofit organization. The nonprofit's website said that it helps wounded service members and their families transition to post-military life.

The Lone Survivor Foundation did not respond to requests for comment Monday.

The fundraiser for Miner was organized by CrossFit Burlington, a gym facility located on Birchcliff Parkway. According to gym owner and head coach Beau Teal, Miner had been a member since June. He earned his a coaching certificate in the fall and had been an assistant coach since then.

"He was noteworthy in his commitment to the success and growth of others," Teal wrote in an email to the Burlington Free Press. "He took a particular interest in the youngest members of our community, supporting them to challenge themselves and develop both as athletes and as people."

Teal said Miner started CrossFit Burlington's obstacle race training club, and he was certified as both a CrossFit endurance coach and a Spartan Race SGX training coach.

As of 6 p.m. Monday, the fundraising page on YouCaring.com had raised $9,530 of the $10,000 goal.

"Our CrossFit Burlington ohana is focused on supporting Kryn's family and one another," Teal said, using the Hawaiian word for family. "We are understandably shocked, saddened and committed to moving forward together."

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