Woman slain by juvenile with her own gun, police say

McKnight Lane modular home. Addison County Community Land Trust photo.

A Waltham woman died by rounds fired from her own gun Friday night, September 15  after she dropped the gun during an alteraction. A juvenile picked up the gun and shot her to death, state police say. 

State police say the victim was Michelle Kilbreth, 48, a resident of McKnight Lane. An autopsy was completed Saturday at the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington. The medical examiner determined the cause of her death was gunshot wounds to the torso, and the manner of death is a homicide.

According to evidence and witness statements, the situation unfolded when Kilbreth got into a physical altercation with another woman who also lived in the Addison County neighborhood. Kilbreth had a handgun in her possession. At some point, Kilbreth lost possession of the gun, and a juvenile picked up the weapon and fired it, striking Kilbreth multiple times. 

The juvenile is not being identified due to his age. In Vermont, people as old as 19 may be considered a juvenile for criminal prosecution purposes. 

No charges have been filed. The Vermont State Police is working closely with the Addison County State’s Attorney’s Office throughout this ongoing investigation. The Vermont State Police Crime Scene Search Team completed its work at McKnight Lane on Saturday. The Vergennes Police Department also provided assistance during the investigation.

McKnight Lane is a modular home development that, announced as a climate-friendly, affordable housing alternative, has been in the news for allegedly defective manufacturing. Kilbreth was profiled in a 2019 Seven Days news article as a ‘Good Samaritan’ who helped a reporter change her flat tire.

VSP continues to ask that anyone with information that could assist investigators call the New Haven Barracks at 802-388-4919.

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Categories: Crime

16 replies »

  1. A shooting in VT with no charges? No ID on the other person in the struggle?
    The other people involved must not be convenient for The Narrative.

    • No worries, since this involved gun violence, regardless of the details or individual faults, it will be used in “the narrative” to further restrict lawful gun ownership…

  2. “The juvenile is not being identified due to his age. In Vermont, people as old as 19 may be considered a juvenile for criminal prosecution purposes.”
    This should not be! We need ONE age of adulthood THROUGHOUT the state! Not 16 to vote in Brattleboro, 18 to vote elsewhere, 21 to buy alcohol, tobacco and guns, but 18 OK to join military, carry a weapon and kill when ordered and timeouts for all the spoiled brats who never got their @$$ warmed for being disobedient and we’re NOT taught that growing up was about learning how to adult! Side note: never pull out a weapon unless the situation clearly warrants it and then be 100% ready to follow through, anything else may result in a unfavorable outcome such as this….sad.

    • My thoughts exactly. Sixteen year olds are mature enough to hold office, while at the same time being considered juveniles. They want these kids to hold office because our politicians know that kids are being indoctrinated into the United Nations agenda to include equity and social justice, which means 16 year olds will vote as the school tells them too, which is aligned to Sustainable Development Goals.

  3. With the latest “safe storage” laws on the books on Vermont, the gunshot victim may well have been liable to be charged with a crime…if she had survived the encounter,
    since she allowed the gun to be accessed by a “juvenile”.
    Though the latest news is a bit short on details, in general, if you have the justification to produce a firearm in the case of defending ones self from imminent harm, the whole purpose of the gun is to PREVENT a physical altercation. If you are at risk from physically having it taken away from you, it’s best to not produce a gun in the first place. That’s my monday morning quarterbacking…

    • Maybe you could wait until all the details are released before you try and convict anyone involved. It’s a tragedy and accidents happen all the time. Did you ever hurt yourself with a tool you bought and then regretted buying it?

      • Larry’s comment is cruel, and shows no compassion . The comment also implies that nothing bad would have happened if there was no gun. A gun isn’t any old tool and not to be referenced as such.

  4. I am perplexed as to why the minor in the shooting isn’t being charged. There have certainly been cases in Vermont where minors involved in such incidents were prosecuted, sometimes as adults. It bothers me how closed mouthed everyone is being…..certainly there should be some transparency as to the reasons this person is not being charged. A woman lost her life…this decision basically tells her family and friends that she did not matter enough for the state to charge the person that killed her. How old was this minor? Old enough to know that shooting someone could cost a life? I think that an explanation on the decision is in order and can be done without disclosing the identity. I am aware that she brought the gun to the situation but we don’t know why she made that decision. Perhaps there had been previous threats made. Whatever the reason the gun was present, the minor should not have taken it or fired it and needs to be held accountable. What is the message being sent to minors…it is ok to shoot someone just as long as you are under 18? Not providing any insight as to why the minor has not yet been charged leaves the door open for conjecture as to why it hasn’t happened.

  5. Unfortunately, we can no longer count on the majority of Vermont’s media to present objective facts in a case like this because it involves guns and a juvenile and there are left-wing agendas at play. Police may also be tight-lipped due to an ongoing investigation. In any case, there is no point in speculating since we have no idea who was the aggressor and what imminent or active threats were uttered by either party. Whether the bearing of a firearm was legally justified and how it came to be in the possession of a person other than the owner is yet to be presented. What is for sure at this point is that the case will no doubt be manipulated by irrational gun-hating progressives to push their own anti-Second Amendment sentiments.

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