Brownington man identified as shooter in 2023 homicide

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WHEELOCK — Vermont State Police have identified the shooter in a fatal October 2023 incident but will not file charges due to the perpetrator’s death.

Authorities say Gary Larocque, 40, of Brownington, fired the shot that killed Gunnar Watson, 27, at Watson’s Wheelock home on Oct. 16, 2023. Watson was shot while standing in his doorway at about 5:50 a.m.

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The eight-month investigation included multiple interviews and search warrants. Forensic evidence linked cartridge casings found at Larocque’s residence to those at the crime scene. Digital data also placed Larocque at the shooting location.

Watson and Larocque were co-workers who had known each other for several years, according to police.

Caledonia County State’s Attorney Jessica Zaleski reviewed the case and determined a first-degree murder charge would have been filed against Larocque. However, Larocque died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound outside his home on Oct. 31, 2023.

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The case is now closed, police say.

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