CSI – Vermont –
November 21, 2019 – At first blush, it made no sense. Two young men, cousins, as privileged and connected as you can be in a place this size, dead within hours and 25 miles of each other. But this is a small place that has experienced big problems at that intersection of drugs and madness, and many people intuitively knew this was that intersection. With the gunfire over and the shooter dead, Brian Kilcullen, the city’s police chief, was trying to seal off the crime scene that his own station had become, and to reassure his officers and the civilians who arrived that morning to bullet holes and controlled chaos when his phone buzzed.
It was a text, from Christopher Louras, the former mayor … Kilcullen steeled himself, then read it, with rising gratitude and not a little amazement. It contained condolences and comforting words for the police officers who had just shot his son to death. “That set the tone, right there,” Kilcullen told me, sitting in the station that, a month later, shows no outward signs of that horrible, chaotic morning. “To have someone, in the midst of his grief and this utter devastation in his own family, reach out and ask about the welfare of our officers. That kind of says it all.”
Two weeks later, the Louras family released a statement. “We feel thankful and blessed with good friends and a strong community, which is more evident than ever,” it read. “We are eternally grateful for the love and compassion people have shown, from friends and neighbors, and from members of the Rutland City Police Department.”