A Vermont man killed his wife and badly injured her mother when he attacked them with a meat cleaver Thursday afternoon while the couple's 8-year-old child was at school, police say.
The suspect, 34-year-old Aita Gurung, was released from a hospital earlier in the day after a voluntary mental health evaluation, his father-in-law told police. Around 2:30 p.m. at a home on Hyde Street, police say he attacked his wife, 32-year-old Yogeswari Khadka, with a meat cleaver, striking her skull, arms and hands. Gurung also allegedly attacked his mother-in-law, 54-year-old Thulsa Rimal, injuring her head.
Khadka was killed, and the incident sent Rimal to the University of Vermont Medical Center, where she was in critical but stable condition Thursday night.
The 8-year-old child of Gurung and Khadka was at school at the time and was not harmed.
Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo said the attack started in the kitchen and ended in front of the residence, with an armed neighbor holding Gurung at bay until police could approach him with a ballistic shield to make the arrest.
A neighbor told necn affiliate NBC 5 News that he heard a woman screaming.
"There was a young woman laying in the driveway lifeless, and the pool of blood was bigger than her," witness Sam Rollo said.
Del Pozo noted in a statement Thursday night that "prior police contact with the suspect has been limited." The chief added that Gurung had "sought police attention for mental health issues and concerns about his deteriorating relationship with his wife" on Saturday, and that he was transported by EMS to the University of Vermont Medical Center. His father-in-law told police Gurung had been voluntarily admitted for an evaluation, but that he was discharged Thursday upon his request.
Gurung is expected to be arraigned Friday at the Chittenden County criminal division of the Vermont Superior Court in Burlington.