Vt. Man Dead After Fight Breaks Out at Middle School Basketball Game

Russell Giroux was transported to a nearby hospital for injuries sustained during the fight

Alburgh Community Education Center
Photo: Google Maps

A middle school basketball game turned deadly in Alburgh, Vermont on Tuesday night.

According to a statement from the school's principal Beth Hemingway, superintendent Michael Clark, and director of student support services Nick DeVita, a "physical altercation between multiple adults" broke out at the game just before 7 p.m. local time.

Vermont State Police were called to the Alburgh Community Education Center, where the seventh and eighth grade team was taking on St. Albans City Schools, for reports of a "large fight involving multiple spectators," the department said in their own release.

The "melee" had ended before authorities arrived, their release said, and some participants had already left the school grounds. Russell Giroux, a 60-year-old man who was involved in the fight, "sought medical attention" and was transported to Northwestern Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to police.

"Mr. Giroux's body will be brought to the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Burlington for an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of his death," police noted in the release.

A video of the brawl taken by an attendee was shared on Twitter. When asked what prompted the fight to break out, the user replied that "allegedly a comment was made by a parent to a player."

The fight, and Giroux's death, remain under investigation by state police.

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The superintendent of the St. Albans school also shared his condolences following Tuesday night's tragic events.

"All of us in the Maple Run Community are shocked and saddened by last night's death of Rurssell Giroux," Bill Kimball wrote in a statement. "We extend our condolences and sympathies to his family and friends."

The "tragic events that preceded" Giroux's death have prompted a reevaluation of the school district's programs, Kimball said, condemning the violence. "We expect better from our communities. Fighting and violence are wholly inconsistent with the behaviors we encourage and support. We always seek to foster a positive learning environment in school and at school events for our students."

He added that supports will be put in place for students who "observed the altercation" and are "dealing with the consequences" of witnessing the tragedy.

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