Crime and Justice

Police investigating Brattleboro’s 2nd homicide of the summer

Local and state police on Saturday, Aug. 20, investigate the shooting death the night prior of an unknown man at Brattleboro’s Great River Terrace, an apartment complex for people lacking permanent housing. Photo by Kevin O'Connor/VTDigger

BRATTLEBORO — Local and state police are investigating the shooting death of an unknown man in what they deem to be this town’s second homicide of the summer.

Police responded Friday night to a report of gunfire at Great River Terrace, a Putney Road apartment complex for people who lack permanent housing. Arriving shortly after 9 p.m., they found an unidentified man dead and interviewed someone else they called a “person of interest.”

“Right now we are investigating a homicide,” Brattleboro Police Chief Norma Hardy said Saturday as she worked the scene beside the Vermont State Police’s major crime unit vehicle. “But there’s no danger to the public.”

Police took the body to the state chief medical examiner’s office for an autopsy and hopeful identification.

“We don’t know who it is,” Brattleboro Detective Lt. Jeremy Evans said.

Police reported little else other than the fact they had spoken with a “person of interest,” whom they did not name.

“We don’t have any plan to release any more information,” Evans said. “We’re waiting for results from the autopsy.”

The nonprofit Windham & Windsor Housing Trust turned the former Lamplighter Inn Motel into the 22-unit Great River Terrace in 2018 with the help of Groundwork Collaborative, which supports people facing hunger or homelessness, and Health Care & Rehabilitation Services, which deals with mental health and substance use issues. All hailed it as the first permanent supportive housing project in southern Vermont.

Last fall, Windham County’s Commons weekly newspaper interviewed residents for a story on problems there, including drug sales and people feeling unsafe. In January, the project drew headlines as the site of a cocaine and fentanyl bust. 

The homicide is Brattleboro’s second of the summer. It comes a month after police found the body of a missing 23-year-old Massachusetts woman along downtown’s Elliot Street on July 19 and later shot and killed her ex-boyfriend after he lunged at them with a knife.

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Kevin O'Connor

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