Police: Man kills girlfriend, self
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | August 22,2014
TOWNSHEND — A 26-year-old Townshend man shot his off-again, on-again girlfriend late Wednesday afternoon at their home on the Grafton Road, police said, and then turned the gun on himself.
Vermont State Police identified Shane J. Brodeur as the man who fired the weapon, and died outside his mobile home. His girlfriend, Katelyn McFadden, 20, was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H., where she died later in the evening.
According to a police statement late Thursday afternoon, McFadden was shot first in the head and then the neck by Brodeur. An autopsy by the New Hampshire chief medical examiner's office determined the gunshot wound to the head was the fatal injury.
Brodeur then turned the gun on himself, police said, and shot himself in the head.
Capt. Raymond Keefe said Thursday that Brodeur and McFadden were both on the phone for several minutes with a state police dispatcher, after Brodeur had initially called police about a disagreement between the pair.
Keefe said at one point during the discussion with the dispatcher, the unloaded gun was laid on a counter. But suddenly the dispatcher heard the gun went off and the line went silent, Keefe said. Troopers were “moments away” at the time, he said.
He said he had listened to the tape of the call and it was surprising for its calmness. Often domestic violence calls are very volatile, he said.
He said that the couple had an off-and-on relationship, and that McFadden had broken up with Brodeur about a month ago, but had moved back in with him last week after living in Bellows Falls with another man.
State's Attorney Tracy Shriver said Brodeur had called state police about two months ago to report that McFadden, who was under the legal drinking age, was drunk and walking down the Grafton Road in Townshend.
Police responded and said they found McFadden very drunk. Both she and Brodeur were charged — Brodeur for furnishing the alcohol to McFadden and McFadden for being a minor consuming alcohol.
Keefe said domestic violence continues to be a tragedy in Vermont society.
“We see these things in Vermont and across the country,” he said. “You are most in danger from your spouse, your acquaintance, your boyfriend. It's a sad commentary on relationships.”
Keefe said the state police dispatcher, who he wouldn't idenfify, had been referred to a employee assistance program, and also had the support of fellow VSP employees.
“She's an experienced dispatcher. I spoke with her last night and again today,” said Keefe, the Troop D captain.
“The situation was frankly very calm,” he said. “She did an excellent job. She had them both defused, and then all of a sudden she heard several volleys of shots.”
He said the call was initiated over “fairly minor relationship stuff,” but quickly turned fatal.
He said the dispatcher immediately called for an ambulance to the Grafton Road home, and state police arrived shortly afterward. They got McFadden into an ambulance, but she died several hours later.
Both had attended Leland and Gray Union High School in Townshend, with Brodeur graduating in 2006. McFadden attended from 2007 to 2009.
According to his Facebook page, Brodeur worked as a carpenter for a Chester construction firm, and also had his own painting and construction company.
McFadden, a native of Brattleboro, had worked as a line cook at Bromley Mountain and had recently applied for work in the kitchen at Valley Cares, an assisted-living facility in Townshend, less than a half mile from Brodeur's home.
On her Facebook page, she had written that she was in a “complicated relationship.”
McFadden had a criminal record: She was arrested when she was 18 years old for smoking crack cocaine in a Brattleboro motel. She was also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Shriver said McFadden had been put on probation for the cocaine charge.
“She went on probation but didn't do well on probation,” the prosecutor said. “She was put on furlough, and she struggled through that.”
But she said McFadden had kept out of trouble for the past 12 months until the alcohol charge.
“It's a very sad case,” Shriver said.