Female University of Vermont student killed, friend wounded, in apparent murder-suicide in off-campus apartment

A University of Vermont student was shot and killed, and her friend grievously injured, by a gunman who then turned the firearm on himself in a horrific murder-suicide incident on Monday.

According to authorities, 27-year-old Mikal Dixon broke into an apartment near the UVM campus and murdered 22-year-old student Kayla Noonan while also wounding her friend before finally killing himself, the New York Post reported.

The friend, a woman identified only as “C.R.,” was feared to be on the verge of death due to her injuries, but has since been listed in “stable but critical condition” at a local hospital.

Student murdered in an off-campus apartment

Law & Crime reported that Burlington Police Acting Chief Jon Murad revealed to reporters that the fatal incident began around 2:20 am Monday morning when Dixon attempted to break into Noonan’s off-campus apartment through the door but, failing that, smashed out a window to gain entry into the residence.

Once inside, Dixon used what was described as a “short-barrel” AR-15 rifle — most likely an AR-style pistol — to shoot both Noonan and C.R. as well as himself.

“Two people are dead. The third has serious, life-altering injuries, but is currently alive in stable although critical condition,” the acting chief said. “I offer my and this department’s deep sympathies to two families in their bereavement and to their friends and loved ones, and I offer fervent hopes for the recovery and the well-being of the living victim, and strength to her family and friends in the days ahead.”

Murad said that Noonan was a UVM student originally from New Jersey and Dixon was a former student originally from New Hampshire but still lived in Burlington. The friend reportedly shared the apartment with Noonan but was not a student at UVM.

He further revealed that Dixon had some low-level crimes on his record, such as theft and trespass, but nothing that would have prevented him from legally purchasing a firearm.

Evidence of the prior relationship between murderer and victims

Murad explained to reporters that investigators were still attempting to discover an “elusive” motive for the shootings, but noted, “We believe that Mr. Dixon and Ms. Noonan had a relationship going back several years, and we know that also there was a relationship between all three.”

Local CBS affiliate WCAX reported that a review of social media accounts confirmed what they acting chief had implied in that there was some evidence of a prior relationship between Noonan and Dixon.

However, both Acting Chief Murad and the local outlet acknowledged that it was difficult to ascertain the full extent of that relationship and what its status had been at the time that Dixon chose to murder Noonan and then kill himself.

This is a terrible tragedy and we can only join the acting chief in offering condolences to the family and friends of the deceased and well-wishes for the recovery of the woman who survived the horrific attack.

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