Family and friends of Julie Fandino say was excited about the future with a new boyfriend before she was shot to death Monday by a Berlin police officer with whom she had once lived.
The officer, Jeffrey Strock, then turned the gun on himself. Police say Fandino, 51, and the 58-year-old Strock shared a home in Brookfield for nearly 5 years before she moved back to the Barre area with her daughter.
Jennifer Hall, a friend and former co-worker, said she received birthday wishes from Fandino just hours before she was killed. She described Fandino as family oriented and “super fun” to be around.
“Julie deserved better,” she said. “It sounded like she finally had that, and [Strock] didn’t want that. She was finally getting away from that area and that environment and getting a fresh start and he took it from her.”
According to police, Strock signed in for duty at the Berlin Police Department just before 11 a.m. Monday. He made four motor vehicle stops on Route 62, before arriving at Fandino’s apartment at 1:40 p.m. About 10 minutes later, police say, Strock shot Fandino multiple times before shooting himself.
The bodies were discovered by the building’s landlord.
Maj. Dan Trudeau of Vermont State Police said there were indications that Stock was troubled.
“There are some hints of depression and self-harm certainly came about,” he said. “But those people who had that information didn’t necessarily, I don’t know what they did with it. Maybe it could have been helped if some of the information was passed along.”
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