60-year-old dies after spectator fight at Vermont middle school basketball game; cause of death pending
Authorities said a man died after being involved in a fight among spectators at a middle school basketball game in Vermont.
The brawl broke out at the Alburgh Community Education Center just before 7 p.m. Tuesday during a seventh and eighth grade boys basketball game, Vermont State Police reported.
Troopers identified the man as 60-year-old Russell Giroux of Alburgh.
According to a police news release, detectives learned Giroux participated in the fight, left the school after the game and was driving toward his home when he stopped and called first responders, who located him in the vehicle.
Giroux was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans, where he died, troopers said.
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The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office did an autopsy, troopers said. The cause and manner of death were listed as pending further investigation.
Toxicology test results also were pending, troopers said.
Officials were working to determine what prompted the fight and the roles of the people who were involved.
State police said they interviewed participants in the brawl and spectators at the game. They also collected and reviewed video footage of the melee.
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'Spectators that cannot behave'
Jay Nichols, the executive director of The Vermont Principals’ Association, said in a statement that the group, which oversees school sports in the state, had no information about the event beyond what authorities provided.
“Although we can not speak specifically about the events at this individual game, we would like to once again emphasize that middle and high school sports are educational and are for the benefit of the student-athletes,” he said. “Spectators that cannot behave appropriately can be barred from events and can face criminal charges.”
In a message sent to the school community, administrators from the Grand Isle Supervisory Union, which includes Alburgh, said they had arranged for support for students, staff and families.
“Our immediate goal is to remind and educate our students and families that our school culture is one of family, community, and kindness," the message said. “We need our students and community to commit to the positive culture that our school community expects and deserves."
On Thursday, the death remained under investigation by troopers and the Grand Isle state’s attorney’s office.
Alburgh is a town of about 2,100 in the northwestern portion of the state, surrounded on three sides by Lake Champlain. The northern part of the community forms part of the border with Canada.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Spectator dies after fight at Vermont middle school basketball game