Police investigate homicide; shooting
By Brent Curtis
and DARREN MARCY
staff writerS | February 13,2014
Albert J. Marro / Staff Photo
Vermont State Police investigators talk outside a house just off Route 30 in Hubbardton where two bodies were discovered Wednesday.
HUBBARDTON — Police investigating a double homicide Wednesday detained an unidentified man for questioning.
What took place at the single-story home on Route 30 and the identities of the victims were not revealed by police Wednesday night as they said next of kin were being notified.
Vermont State Police did release a brief statement confirming that two men were found dead outside the residence.
Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn said it was a double homicide.
How they died wasn’t revealed.
However, police radio dispatches at 1:47 p.m. reported a 911 call about a possible shooting at the residence. A neighbor on the other side of the rural highway said later that she heard gunshots.
“I heard three or four gunshots,” said Ashley Kittell, 20. “It almost sounded like someone duck hunting. I’d hear a shot and then two to three seconds later there was another one.”
Kittell, who was at the back of her home at 599 Route 30, said minutes after she heard the gunshots a vehicle with a loud exhaust pulled out of the driveway on the other side of the road.
While she didn’t see the vehicle, she said the noisy exhaust sounded like the Ford Bronco owned by an older man who lives in the home where the gunshots were heard.
Soon after, police stopped an off-white Ford Bronco about a mile south of the scene and detained the driver.
At the time of the stop at about 2:15 p.m, the Bronco was driving back toward the residence, prompting police at the scene to warn spectators at the scene to take cover. Police wore bullet-proof vests and carried shotguns until the driver of the Bronco was detained.
Fair Haven Police Chief William Humphries said he stopped the Ford Bronco just north of North Road on Route 30.
Humphries said that at first the vehicle didn’t pull over, but eventually did come to a stop.
The driver was detained on suspicion of driving under the influence, Humphries said, and was taken to the Fair Haven police station.
Humphries and Castleton Patrolman Jeffrey Warfle stood by the Bronco until a flatbed truck arrived to take it away.
Police used yellow crime scene tape to seal off the driveway leading to the scene of the alleged crime and several neighboring houses off Route 30 just north of the Castleton town line.
A state police cruiser drove up the steep, snowy slope leading to the home Wednesday afternoon but no other vehicles followed. No evidence or bodies were taken from the scene as of almost 8 p.m. Two police cruisers were parked at the end of the driveway and an unknown number of investigators remained at the home on top of the hill.
It was unclear if investigators had entered the home, which was dark and appeared empty.
Troopers, detectives and a pair of deputy prosecutors took turns visiting the scene Wednesday afternoon and evening.
A large contingent of state police troopers and detectives gathered at the Fair Haven Police Department, which also houses the state police outpost in the western side of Rutland County.
At one point a crime scene van was among 14 vehicles at the police station.
At about 7 p.m. a Fair Haven ambulance pulled into the back lot behind the Fair Haven station. After a short time, several officers came out with a man wrapped in blankets who was led into an ambulance.
Two troopers prevented photos from being taken and the ambulance left with a police cruiser following it.
State police detectives spent the afternoon interviewing neighbors and gathering evidence from the home, which neighbors say is a rental unit. The identity of the tenant could not be confirmed Wednesday evening.
Kittell and her roommates said the home is occupied by an older man and they have seen the Bronco repeatedly at the address.