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Spectator dies after a mass brawl breaks out during middle school basketball game


Pictured: Spectator, 60, who died when a mass brawl broke out at a middle school basketball game between seventh and eighth-graders

Authorities are investigating the death of a 60-year-old man at a middle school basketball game in northern Vermont on Tuesday.

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Vermont state troopers were called to the Alburgh Community Education Center just after 7pm following reports of a fight between spectators at a home fixture against St Albans.

Police have not said what caused the fight between spectators and ‘at least’ two players, nor the cause of the death of spectator Russell Giroux.

A phone recording of the incident showed several people on a basketball court, with people being shoved, tackled, and punched according to local CBS affiliate WCAX

Russell Giroux, pictured, died in hospital after the brawl at the Alburgh school basketball game

Police responded to the fight before 7:00pm EST at a game between Alburgh & St. Albans

Police responded to the fight before 7:00pm EST at a game between Alburgh & St. Albans

The fight ended before troopers arrived and many of the participants had already 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 later pronounced dead.

Giroux’s death is being investigated by state police and the Grand Isle State’s Attorney’s Office. 

The office of the Vermont medical examiner will conduct an autopsy.

Jay Nichols, Executive Director of the Vermont Principals’ Association, said: ‘They were reffing the game and the next thing he knew people were out on the court punching each other.

‘There was one person that had blood all over their face. They got a parent to call the police.’

He urged adults to behave appropriately at similar events, stressing school basketball games are for educational purposes, not adult entertainment. 

Alburgh is a town of about 2,100 in northwestern Vermont. It is surrounded on three sides by Lake Champlain. 

The northern part of the community forms part of the border with Canada.

Spectators and players broke into a brawl at a middle school basketball game in Alburgh

Spectators and players broke into a brawl at a middle school basketball game in Alburgh 

One man later died in hospital after the fight on the basketball court on Tuesday evening

One man later died in hospital after the fight on the basketball court on Tuesday evening

A brawl at a school in rural Alburgh, Vermont left a 60-year-old man dead as police investigate

Detectives are asking anyone with information about the fight to contact them. Call Det. Tpr. Michael Mattuchio at the St. Albans Barracks at 802-524-5993 or leave a tip anonymously online.

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