BARRE TOWN – Vermont State Police are investigating an apparent homicide/suicide Monday that involved a part-time officer of the Berlin Police Department.
Initial investigation has revealed that 58-year-old Jeffrey Strock, who worked at the Berlin Police Department for roughly 20 years, drove his department-issued cruiser to the home of 51-year-old Julie Fandino in Barre Town, where he shot her on the back porch before turning the gun on himself.
The incident was reported to police by the landlord of the house, who was first notified of suspicious activity by a neighbor, Colette Gagnon, who said she heard what sounded like gunfire.
“All I know is what I heard, and what I did hear was popping noises, several of them,” Gagnon said. “I didn’t think anything of it, and then I went outside with the dog and the dog bolted in the direction of the crime scene.”
Strock had also worked eight years as a part-time sheriff with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. Police are continuing to investigate the nature of the connection between Strock and Fandino.
“We’re treating it as an apparent homicide/suicide, the crime scene search team is here, detectives with the major crime unit and bureau of criminal investigation is working out on the streets to interview friends, family, other officers,” said Major Dan Trudeau, VSP Criminal Division Commander.
The Vermont State Police asks that anyone who has any information about this incident or the individuals involved, or who passed by the Websterville Road home Monday afternoon and saw anything unusual or suspicious, to call the state police’s Middlesex Barracks at 802-229-9191.