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60-year-old man dies after fight at middle school basketball game in Vermont

Feb. 2, 2023
Police say the man was involved in a fight that interrupted the game; after he left the scene, he called 911 for medical assistance.

A 60-year-old man has died following a fight at a middle school basketball game in Alburgh, Vt.

VT Digger reports that Russell Giroux of Alburgh was pronounced dead at a local hospital Tuesday night. State police said that Giroux had been driving home from the game when he called 911. First responders found him in his vehicle.

Police were called to the Alburgh Community Education Center shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday to respond to reports of a “large fight involving multiple spectators,” officials said. The basketball game was among seventh and eighth grade boys from the Alburgh school and St. Albans City Elementary School.

Police say the investigation into what prompted the fight is ongoing.

A brief video of the fight shows a chaotic scene in which about a dozen people converge on the basketball court, some throwing punches at one another and others wrestling on the ground. At least one student wearing a basketball uniform appears to throw multiple punches at adults who are also fighting.

Jay Nichols, executive director of the Vermont Principals’ Association, said the fight started between adults in the bleachers and then spilled out onto the court.

“The melee ended before troopers arrived on scene, and some participants had departed the school,” police said in a news release

Police said one of those individuals, identified as Giroux, sought medical attention after the game and was taken to a hospital. It was not clear whether Giroux’s death was a result of being involved in the fight.

Two students who did not take part in the fight were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries after they became upset and punched a wall, according to Terry Tatro, the Alburgh town fire warden.

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