A 60-year-old man died after a brawl that broke out Tuesday night in the city of Alburgh during a middle school basketball game, the Vermont State Police (VST) said in a statement Wednesday.
Russell Giroux was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Medical Center in St Albans, where he was pronounced dead, VST said.
“The circumstances of his death are being actively investigated,” the statement said.
“Lord. Giroux’s body will be taken to the Chief Medical Examiner’s office in Burlington for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of his death,” he added.
VST’s statement suggested that Giroux took part in a large fight attended by several spectators during a 7th-8th grade basketball game between Alburgh and St Albans. Alburgh is about an hour north of Burlington.
The soldiers were called to the Alburgh Community Education Center around 7 p.m. By the time they arrived, the brawl was over and some of the participants were leaving the school, VST said.
“This investigation is in its early stages and involves members of the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations, the Field Force Division and the Victim Services Unit,” VST added.
“The state police are working with Grand Isle County District Attorney Doug DiSabito in this case.”
According to CNN affiliate WCAX, Grand Isle District Attorney Doug DiSabito said police are collecting video footage and information about who was there.
“In some ways, I’m at a loss for words. That should never happen,” DiSabito said, according to WCAX.
“Very sad. And it’s because of the adults and I’m sad for my community.”
School officials released statements on Wednesday expressing their shock at Giroux’s death and condemning the violence that took place.
“The Maple Run Unified School District condemns the violence that occurred during the basketball game,” the Maple Run Unified School District said in a statement Wednesday.
“We expect better from our communities. Fighting and violence are totally incompatible with the behaviors we encourage and support.
“We always strive to promote a positive learning environment at school and at school events for our students.
“The tragic events that preceded the death of Mr Giroux have prompted our schools to evaluate school programs and community engagement.”
The district said it had informed school staff of the incident and was working to support students and families “to deal with the aftermath of the altercation and the death of Mr Giroux”.
The district said it urges the Agency of Education and the Vermont Principal’s Association to consider how best to respond to unruly bystanders after a spate of misbehavior.
In a letter addressed to the Alburgh community Wednesday, the Grand Isle Supervisory Union said its “immediate goal is to remind and educate our students and families that our school culture is one of family, community and kindness.” “.
“To best support the students and staff of the Alburgh Community Education Center, GISU has arranged additional support where needed with our regional partners who are available throughout the day.”