Police: Vermont man critically injured in shooting; alleged shooter dead by suicide

Local News

Robert Marquis, 52, was allegedly shot by a man who was renting a room from him.

A 52-year-old Vermont man is in critical condition after he was allegedly shot on Wednesday by his tenant, who then took his own life, according to state police. 

Vermont State Police said officers responded to a 911 call around 5 p.m. about a dispute between two roommates in a home on Elm Street in Hardwick. At the scene, officers found the homeowner, 52-year-old Robert Marquis, suffering from a gunshot wound. Police said Thursday he remains in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.

The suspected shooter, later identified as 55-year-old Donald Brochu Jr., who was renting  a room from Marquis, was not at the scene when police responded, and an alert was issued for him on Wednesday evening. Police said they received reports around 6:50 p.m. that a vehicle matching the one Brochu was driving had crashed near Route 15 in Walden.

Troopers responded to the area and ultimately located Brochu about two miles away walking on Cahoon Farm Road, armed with a handgun. Police said officers ordered him to drop the gun, which he refused to do. For more than 20 minutes, police said officers worked to persuade him to surrender before firing several less-than-lethal rounds, including bean bags and rubber bullets, at Brochu.

“After taking several additional steps toward troopers, Brochu shot himself in the head with his own gun,” police said. “Troopers immediately began performing life-saving measures, but Brochu was pronounced dead on scene at 7:30 p.m.”

The chief medical examiner has ruled Brochu’s death a suicide, police said.

Vermont State Police said per protocols, a review will be undertaken into the use of force by officers at the scene.