A beloved school nurse is dead after her former neighbor allegedly dressed up as a delivery man and fatally shot her outside her Massachusetts home.
Laurie Melchionda was found dead outside her Braintree home Wednesday morning, Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey and Braintree Police Chief Mark Dubois announced in a press release.
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Braintree police responding to multiple 911 calls found Melchionda, 59, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and her former neighbor, Robert Bonang, on the scene.
Melchionda was rushed to the hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries. Prosecutors said in court Thursday that Bonang appeared to have disguised himself as a delivery person and used a box to hide his rifle, CBS Boston reports.
He was taken into custody and then arraigned Thursday on charges of murder, two counts of carrying a firearm without a license, possession of ammunition without a license, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, Boston.com reports.
Bonang pleaded not guilty to all charges. Attorney information for him was not available Thursday afternoon.
“We believe this is a targeted event,” Morrissey told reporters at a press conference Wednesday afternoon, according to the Boston Herald.
Authorities have not revealed a motive.
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Bonang lived across the street from Melchionda until he moved out in 2015, Morrissey said, adding that the two had a bad history. Dan Quirk, who grew up next door, said Melchionda had told his grandmother Bonang had made him uncomfortable, the Herald reports.
During Bonang’s initial court appearance Thursday, prosecutors said a babysitter walking with the children she was watching saw the 61-year-old before the incident and noted he looked suspicious.
“She let him walk in front of her because she was concerned about him. He began to go to [Melchionda’s address],” the prosecutor said, according to CBS. “He rang the doorbell frantically. She walked away with the children, heard screaming, and turned around and saw the man shooting at Mrs. Melchionda with the gun from the box.”
Melchionda was Weston Public School’s Director of Health Services and Field School Nurse, according to the school district’s website.
In a statement shared online, Superintendent Midge Connolly said: “[Melchionda] embodied all of the positive traits of a high quality nurse including empathy, dedication, confidence and a compassionate, compelling bedside manner. Laurie’s zest for life and love of her family were evident in all that she did and will always be cherished.”