Suspect Dies By Suicide

Staff Writer

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.
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.