A 24-year-old man who shot and critically wounded his former girlfriend’s new boyfriend in Underhill before leading police on a day-long hunt for his whereabouts shot himself to death as officers converged on him in a woody marsh in Colchester.
After allegedly shooting the 29-year-old victim early Wednesday, Evan Labonte fled the scene and eluded police for much of the day. But by mid-afternoon, officers had tracked Labonte to an area between Creek Farm Road and Interstate 89 in Colchester. Police said that as officers began speaking with Labonte from a distance, he put a handgun to his head and fired a shot, killing himself.
Police say the incident began overnight Tuesday, 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 he backed out of the garage of a home at 50 Meadow Lane in Underhill.
Police said the victim was struck by multiple rounds, but managed to return inside, where police and rescue crews were called.
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 Labonte to the Breezy Acres mobile home park at the intersection of Creek Farm Road and U.S. Routes 2 & 7 in Colchester.
Just before noon, officers and a US Customs and Border Patrol helicopter converged on the area. Nearby residents were told to remain alert, lock their doors and not leave their homes.
The search ended with Labonte’s suicide.
Police say the shooting victim is 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.