Vermont State Police: Underhill shooting suspect kills himself

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Vermont State Police: Underhill shooting suspect kills himself

Wed, 05/27/2020 - 12:40pm -- tim

Vermont State Police (6 pm) The Vermont State Police is identifying the man shot this morning as Ryan Prue, 28, a resident of the home on Meadow Lane in Underhill where the shooting occurred. He was last reported to be in critical condition at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.

Following a daylong search, law enforcement tracked Underhill shooting suspect Evan Labonte to a wooded, marshy area between Creek Farm Road and Interstate 89 in Colchester.

When police, including members of the Tactical Services Unit of the Vermont State Police, attempted to begin speaking with Labonte from a distance, he was observed to place a handgun to his head and fire a shot, killing himself.

VSP Photo of Evan Labonte

The incident began overnight Tuesday, May 26, into Wednesday, May 27, when Labonte sent multiple text messages to a former girlfriend. At about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, Labonte ambushed a vehicle driven by the girlfriend’s current boyfriend as the 29-year-old victim backed his vehicle out of the garage of a home at 50 Meadow Lane in Underhill. The victim was struck by multiple rounds but managed to return inside the home, where police and rescue crews were called.

Based on evidence including text messages and witness statements, an extensive search began for the suspect, identified as Labonte. Late Wednesday morning, a vehicle driven by Labonte was located near Sandbar State Park off U.S. Route 2 in Milton. A Chittenden County sheriff’s deputy in an unmarked vehicle followed the vehicle to the Breezy Acres mobile home park at the intersection of Creek Farm Road and U.S. Routes 2 & 7 in Colchester.

Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies converged on the area in an attempt to peacefully apprehend Labonte and protect the general public, and initiated an extensive search by foot and in the air that ultimately located Labonte before he died by suicide.

Search efforts throughout the day involved the Vermont State Police; police departments from Colchester, Burlington, Essex, Milton, the University of Vermont and Winooski; the Chittenden County Sheriff’s Department; the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles; wardens from the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife; the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the Colchester and Essex rescue squads; Colchester Technical Rescue; and the Underhill Jericho Volunteer Fire Department.

The victim of the Underhill shooting is listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington with multiple gunshot wounds. His name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The investigation into the incident remains ongoing and encompasses multiple scenes, in Underhill and in Colchester. Police continue to ask that anyone with information about the events of the day call the Vermont State Police in Williston at 802-878-7111.

***Update No. 3, 3:25 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, 2020***

The scene along Creek Farm Road in Colchester is secure following an extensive search for Evan Labonte. Multiple law enforcement agencies are actively working at the west end of Creek Farm Road. The numerous law enforcement agencies involved in the search thank the public for their assistance and patience.

***Update No. 2, 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, 2020***

People in the area of Creek Farm Plaza in Colchester should remain indoors and lock their residences while the search for shooting suspect Evan Labonte continues.

Please immediately call 911 if you see the suspect or have any relevant information.

***Update No. 1, 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, 2020***

As the investigation into Wednesday morning’s shooting in Underhill continues, the Vermont State Police search for suspect Evan Labonte has expanded to Colchester.

Police are on scene in the vicinity of the intersection of US Routes 2 & 7 and Creek Farm Plaza in Colchester. Multiple police agencies and resources are on the scene, including the Vermont State Police Tactical Services Unit, the Colchester Police Department, the Chittenden County Sheriff’s Department and a helicopter from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

People in the area are advised to be cautious and alert while the police activity is underway. Anyone with information about Labonte’s whereabouts should immediately call 911 or the Vermont State Police in Williston at 802-878-7111.

***Initial news release, 9:10 a.m. Wednesday, May 27, 2020***

The Vermont State Police is investigating a shooting that occurred Wednesday morning, May 27, 2020, in the town of Underhill, and asking the public to stay alert while the suspect remains at large.

The shooting occurred at about 7:30 a.m. at 50 Meadow Lane. The suspect, identified as Evan Labonte, 24, of Fairfax, shot a 29-year-old man multiple times in a vehicle outside the home. The victim has been transported to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington for treatment; his current condition is unknown.

Following the shooting, Labonte fled the scene on foot. It is unclear in what direction Labonte might have been traveling, or whether he had access to a vehicle.

Labonte is described as a slim white man, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, 130 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a red sweater and low-hanging jeans. Labonte might still be armed with the handgun used in the shooting and should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who sees Labonte should not approach him and instead immediately call 911 or the Vermont State Police in Williston at 802-878-7111.

The investigation into the shooting is in its earliest stages. Detectives with the Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit and Bureau of Criminal Investigations, joined by members of the Crime Scene Search Team and Field Force Division, are responding the incident.

The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of relatives.

Members of the public should avoid Meadow Lane in Underhill while the investigation is underway.

Anyone with information relevant to the investigation or the whereabouts of Labonte is asked to contact the Vermont State Police in Williston at 802-878-7111.

Media is asked to stage at the Underhill Jericho Fire Department on Vermont Route 15.

No further information is currently available. Updates will be provided as the investigation continues.

COLCHESTER, Vt. (Wednesday, May 27, 2020) — VSP