Vermont Man Dies After Large Fight at Middle School Basketball Game

State police said the fight broke out shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday at a seventh and eighth grade boys basketball game in Alburgh


Vermont State Police say they are investigating the death of a man following a fight at a middle school basketball game on Tuesday night.

State police said they were called to the Alburgh Community Education Center on Champlain Street in Alburgh shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday for a report of a large fight involving multiple spectators during a seventh- and eighth- grade boys basketball game between Alburgh and St. Albans.

The fight ended before state troopers arrived, and some of the people involved had already left the school.

CLICK HERE to watch raw video of the fight.

One of those people, 60-year-old Russell Giroux of Alburgh later sought medical attention and was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans, where he was pronounced dead. The circumstances surrounding his death remain under investigation, state police said.

Jay Nichols, the executive director of The Vermont Principals’ Association, said in a statement that the group, which oversees school sports in the state, had no information about the event beyond what the authorities provided.

“Although we can not speak specifically about the events at this individual game, we would like to once again emphasize that middle and high school sports are educational and are for the benefit of the student-athletes,” he said. “Spectators that cannot behave appropriately can be barred from events and can face criminal charges.”

The Grand Isle Supervisory Union, which includes Alburgh schools, released a statement about the incident on Wednesday afternoon.

"It is with a heavy heart that I write to you that there was a physical altercation between multiple adults in attendance at last night's Middle School basketball game," the statement said. "Our immediate goal is to remind and educate our students and families that our school culture is one of family, community, and kindness. We need our students and community to commit to the positive culture that our school community expects and deserves.

Alburgh is a town of about 2,000 residents located in northwestern Vermont near the Canadian and New York borders.

The chief medical examiner's office in Burlington will be conducting an autopsy in the coming days to determine the cause and manner of Giroux's death.

No further details about the incident were released. State police said their investigation is still in its "earliest stages," and they are working with the Grand Isle County State Attorney's office on the case.

State police said they are looking to interview anyone with information about the fight, including those involved, and asked that people call them at 802-524-5993 or leave an anonymous tip online at

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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