Waltham community reacts after shooting leaves woman dead

Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 8:16 PM EDT
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WALTHAM, Vt. (WCAX) - A shooting on Friday left a Vermont woman dead. Our Sophia Thomas has an update on the investigation in Waltham.

Crystal MacMillan places a bouquet of wildflowers on a black pickup truck near the entrance of McKnight Lane. She grew them in the garden she shared with her neighbor, Michelle Kilbreth.

“She gave me cucumbers when we had an overabundance of them,” MacMillan said. “She was a very, very kind woman.”

The 48-year-old Waltham woman was fatally shot Friday night during a dispute with neighbors.

Friends remember her as a cornerstone of the neighborhood.

“She was always very friendly,” MacMillan said. “She made the neighborhood a neighborhood.”

“She just was a giver. Kind person,” Lori Fetters said.

Neighbors say the commotion began early Friday evening.

“I heard some pops and I was like, is that gunshots?” MacMillan said. “I heard somebody saying to put the gun down, and then I heard some more shots.”

Vermont State Police responded to the scene just before 7 p.m. Neighbors say Kilbreth was found deceased in her yard.

An autopsy at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington determined her cause of death was gunshot wounds to the torso.

Police haven’t released the names of the individuals involved, but say the encounter began with a physical altercation between Kilbreth and another woman who lived in the neighborhood and ended with a male juvenile shooting Kilbreth multiple times with her own gun.

Police say there’s no threat to the community and no charges have been filed.

McKnight Lane tenants say they hold concerns regarding a lack of safety measures in their neighborhood.

“There’s no street lights here,” Fetters said. “If it had been two months more from here, you wouldn’t have been able to see anything.”

As police comb through the crime scene, neighbors say they’re focused on honoring Kilbreth and calling for a safer community.

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