Hardwick, News

Two Dead after Shooting in Hardwick

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A dispute at this Elm Street home resulted in a shooting that left two dead.

by Gazette Staff

HARDWICK — A man who was shot in his home in Hardwick last Wednesday evening died of his injuries over the weekend. The suspect in the shooting killed himself when located by the police.

According to police reports, Robert Marquis, 52, of 76 Elm Street in Hardwick “died over the weekend at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington following several days of treatment for injuries he sustained when he was shot Wednesday at his home in Hardwick. An autopsy was performed Sunday at the chief medical examiner’s office in Burlington. The cause of death was determined to be a gunshot wound to the head, and the manner of death is a homicide.”

The report added that “Mr. Marquis’ family would like the public to know that he was an organ donor, and his decision saved at least three lives.” 

Another police report noted that “the suspect in the shooting is Donald Brochu Jr., 55, who was renting a room in Marquis’ home. An autopsy performed Thursday at the chief medical examiner’s office in Burlington concluded Brochu’s cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head, and the manner of death was a suicide.”

The Vermont State Police (VSP) reported that “VSP’s investigation determined that after shooting Marquis, Brochu drove away from the residence in the direction of Walden on Vermont Route 15. Police later received reports at about 6:50 p.m. that Brochu’s vehicle had been found crashed near 4695 Route 15 in Walden. Troopers responded to the area and began searching for Brochu, ultimately locating him about two miles away walking on Cahoon Farm Road near the intersection with Cobb Road. Brochu was armed with a handgun.

“Troopers … ordered Brochu to drop the firearm, which he refused to do. Members of VSP’s Crisis Negotiation Unit spoke with Brochu by phone for more than 20 minutes in an effort to deescalate the situation and persuade him to surrender peacefully. About 26 minutes after arriving on scene, as Brochu continued to ignore commands to drop the gun, troopers fired several less-than-lethal rounds, including bean bags and a rubber impact projectile. At least one projectile struck Brochu. After taking several additional steps toward troopers, Brochu shot himself in the head with his own gun. Troopers immediately began performing life-saving measures, but Brochu was pronounced dead on scene at 7:30 p.m.”

Police involvement in the incident began at around 5 p.m. last Wednesday, when a 911 call reported that a man had been shot in “a dispute between two roommates at a home on Elm Street.”

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