Police in the central Vermont city of Barre are investigating a murder-suicide that left a woman and a man dead.
Investigators said a call for a disturbance brought them to Long Street around 7:45 a.m. on the Fourth of July.
Police said they heard gunshots when they arrived, then found a bleeding woman stumbling from a unit in a multi-family home on Long Street.
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Investigators identified that victim as 29-year-old Courtney Gaboriault of Barre, and said she died shortly thereafter.
Police said Gaboriault’s estranged boyfriend was found inside.
Luke Lacroix, 30, of Barre, was found dead from what police said looked like a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police described the case as a murder-suicide linked to domestic violence.
“Domestic violence… is a huge problem everywhere,” noted Dep. Chief Larry Eastman of the Barre City Police Department. “Unfortunately, a lot of these [homicide] cases are domestic violence-related, and domestic situations that can go downhill pretty quickly. You’re talking about people with lots of emotions involved, and there’s serious stakes when it comes to matters of the heart.”
Gaboriault was a Vermont Department of Safety employee, who worked as administrative services coordinator with the Vermont Marijuana Registry for the past 18 months.
"Courtney Gaboriault, a valued member of the Department of Public Safety family, was killed by a former boyfriend. This was another senseless act perpetrated by a man who sought to control and dominate another person,” Commissioner of Public Safety Thomas D. Anderson said.
Gaboriault was born and raised in Vermont and graduated from Lake Region Union High School in Barton in 2007. In 2011 she earned a bachelor’s degree in human services from what was then called Lyndon State College. Her parents, younger sister and extended family live in the Northeast Kingdom and central Vermont, according to the department's statement.
“It’s so hard for the families,” neighbor Patricia Lucas observed of domestic violence. “I think it’s especially hard for women who seem to get stuck in these situations, and they have a lot of trouble getting out. It’s just happening a lot.”
Barre City Police and Vermont State Police are still investigating what led up to the murder-suicide.