A 60-year-old man who participated in the fight died, police said, and a brawl broke out among spectators at a middle school basketball game in northern Vermont.
State troopers were called to the Alburgh Community Education Center on Tuesday after a report of a large fight between spectators during a seventh and eighth grade boys basketball game between Alburgh and St Albans.
The fight ended before troopers arrived, and many of the participants left. Russell Giroux, of Alburgh, sought medical attention, police said. He was taken by ambulance to the Northwestern Medical Center in St Albans, where he was pronounced dead.
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 the authorities provided.
Although we can not speak specifically about the events at this individual game, we would like to emphasize that middle and high school sports are educational and for the benefit of the student-athletes, he said. Spectators that don't behave well can be barred from events and 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 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. The state police and Grand Isle state attorney s office are investigating Giroux's death. The state medical examiner will conduct an autopsy.
Alburgh is a town of about 2,100 in northwestern Vermont. It is surrounded by Lake Champlain on three sides. The northern part of the community is part of the border with Canada.