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Manhunt ends with shooting suspect taking his own life

(WCAX)
Published: May. 27, 2020 at 8:44 AM EDT
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Police say the daylong manhunt across Chittenden County for a shooting suspect ended the way it began-- with gunfire. Vermont State Police say the suspect took his own life when he was cornered by officers.

"It's unbelievable," Albert Bernasconi said.

Bernasconi lives across the street from the initial crime scene on Meadow Lane in Underhill. He says he heard multiple gunshots Wednesday morning.

"Didn't think anything of it, I didn't get up, I was upstairs watching TV. I didn't get up because I thought maybe somebody was trying to get rid of a rabbit," he said.

Police say at about 7:30 a.m., Evan Labonte, 24, ambushed his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend. Ryan Prue, 28, was shot multiple times as he backed his vehicle out of his garage.

"The last thing in my mind was that somebody was being shot, especially here in this neighborhood," Bernasconi said.

Around 11 a.m., police spotted a vehicle identified as one Labonte was in. WCAX News got video of him driving down Creek Farm Road in Colchester. Police say Labonte ditched the car and took off on foot. Dozens of officers including the Vermont State Police tactical response unit staged near the Breezy Acres trailer park.

"I live here in the trailer park, and to see all of that action here is kind of scary," Kelli Flood said.

Southbound traffic stopped down Route 7 as police searched the scene. A Customs and Border Patrol helicopter circled the area. And police urged residents in the area of the Creek Farm Plaza in Colchester to remain indoors and lock their doors.

"It was hectic for a little while," Vt. State Police Capt. Garry Scott said.

After multiple sightings in the woods, police made contact with Labonte, asking him to surrender peacefully.

"Upon approach, the suspect shot himself," Scott said.

His family fell to the ground when they learned Labonte was dead.

Police say Prue was hit by multiple rounds. He was listed in critical condition late Wednesday afternoon.

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