A 60-year-old man died after being involved in a spectator brawl at a middle school basketball game in Vermont, the Associated Press reports.
Russell Giroux, of Alburgh, was transported to Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans, where he was pronounced dead after succumbing to injuries sustained in the melee, authorities confirmed. Vermont State Police responded to a report of a large fight involving spectators that took place during a seventh- and eight-grade boys basketball game between Alburgh and St. Albans Tuesday (February 1) night.
The brawl concluded and many participants had already left the scene prior to state troopers’ arrival. Jay Nichols, the executive director of The Vermont Principals’ Association, a group that oversees sports in the state, said he had no additional information regarding the incident in a statement obtained by the AP.
“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,” Nichols said via the AP. “Spectators that cannot behave appropriately can be barred from events and can face criminal charges.”
Administrators from the Grand Isle Supervisory Union, which includes Alburgh, also issued a statement to the school community confirming that they would provide support for students, staff and families affected by the fatal incident.
“Our immediate goal is to remind and educate our students and families that our school culture is one of family, community, and kindness,” the group said. “We need our students and community to commit to the positive culture that our school community expects and deserves.”
Vermont State Police and the Grand Isle state’s attorney’s office have launched an ongoing investigation into Giroux’s death and an autopsy will be conducted by the state medical examiner’s office.