IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Police: 2 dead in Vermont school shooting

A shooter opened fire at a Vermont elementary school Thursday in an incident that left at least two dead and three injured, police said.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Hours after breaking up with his girlfriend, a man shot four people Thursday, including the girlfriend’s mother and her co-worker at an elementary school, then shot himself in the head, police said.

Investigators said they had been searching for Christopher Williams, 26, since early Thursday when the girlfriend called police to report he had taken her car after their breakup.

Later in the day, police said Williams killed Andrea Lambesis’ 57-year-old mother, Linda, at her home, then headed to the nearby Essex Elementary School, where her daughter was a teacher.

When he did not find the girlfriend, he shot and killed teacher Mary Shanks, 56, Police Chief David Demag said. He also shot and wounded another person at the school. Police had reported earlier two were injured.

Some 39 staffers were in the building preparing for the start of the school year when the gunman showed up, Demag said.

Williams then went to a condominium complex, where he shot an acquaintance, Chad Johansen, 26, before turning the gun on himself, the chief said.

He said Williams shot himself twice in the head, but was still able to talk to police when they arrived.

Demag said the three injured people, including the shooter, were taken to a hospital. All were in fair or good condition late Thursday.

Jillian Schultz, 22, a resident of the condominiums, said she was in the yard playing with her 13-month-old son and the 2-year-old son of a neighbor she said she knew only as “Chad” when the gunman — disheveled and sweating — ran past her, asking “Where’s Chad? Where’s Chad?”

Moments later, she heard four gunshots and saw bullets rip through bushes 10 feet away.

“I gathered the kids and the neighbor’s kid and I got out of there,” Schultz said.

Then she saw Chad — her neighbor, whose last name she didn’t know — come toward the building, bleeding from the back and yelling to her to call 911.

The shooter was apprehended on a lawn between the condominiums and a neighboring greenhouse business, said witness Peter Bearor, who was arriving home from work at the time. Police at the scene would not talk to reporters.

Dozens of police from around Chittenden County, including tactical units armed with automatic weapons, converged on the school. One TV report showed people running from the school, ducking their heads.

People from the school were taken to a supermarket for holding about a half mile away.

David Pariseau said his wife, Ellen, a first-grade teacher, told him she and six or seven other teachers had locked themselves in a classroom during the rampage.