UVM student fatally shot in murder-suicide knew assailant for several years
BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Social media accounts indicate that the University of Vermont student fatally shot in a murder-suicide in Burlington’s Old North End knew the assailant for at least a year prior to Monday’s deadly encounter.
A vase of flowers Tuesday marked the scene where 22-year-old Kayla Noonan was murdered before the shooter turned the gun on himself. A broken window in the North Winooski Avenue apartment has since been boarded up.
Police say Noonan was shot and killed and that her friend, who lived in the apartment, was critically injured before 27-year-old Mikal Dixon shot and killed himself.
We have not been able to speak to Noonan’s family, but they released a statement that said: “The family is devastated by this tragic, senseless and untimely loss. We ask that you please respect their privacy at this time.”
Noonan was from northern New Jersey. She was active on social media, posting with many friends and about her active life, including rollerblading and working out. She was a rising senior at UVM majoring in community entrepreneurship and minoring in sociology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Police say Dixon broke into the apartment early Monday armed with a short-barrelled AR-15 rifle. They say he shot Noonan and the other woman in the room and then turned the gun on himself.
A photo from social media taken just over a year ago shows Noonan and Dixon together. We haven’t been able to determine the nature or extent of their relationship, but Burlington Acting Police Chief Jon Murad said the couple’s relationship dated back several years and that Dixon also knew the other woman, whose name has not been released. She was hospitalized in stable but critical condition. Her condition Tuesday was not available.
The shooting was the 18th gun incident in Burlington since the beginning of the year. Murad said detectives are over-extended investigating other cases and that they have reached out to the Vermont State Police for assistance. Murad said there are 62 officers in the department, but extenuating circumstances have left just 52 officers currently available. With 15 supervisors, seven officers at the Burlington Airport, and nine detectives, that leaves 22 to cover the weekly patrol shift.
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