A Massachusetts school nurse was fatally shot in what authorities are investigating as a targeted attack by her former neighbor, according to officials and reports.
Laurie Melchionda, 59, was shot dead in the entryway of her Braintree home in Norfolk County on Wednesday morning, the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office announced later in the day. She was rushed to an area hospital, but could not be saved.
Police arrived to find one of Melchionda’s former neighbors, 61-year-old Robert Bonang, at the scene and later arrested him for murder and firearms-related charges, the DA's office said in a post on its Facebook page.
Prosecutors on Thursday described how Bonang approached Melchionda’s home wearing what appeared to be a UPS driver's uniform and holding a box, a spokesperson for the district attorney's office confirmed.
Authorities had previously told the Boston Herald he was wearing brown-colored clothing much like some of the uniforms worn by delivery workers.
During Thursday's arraignment, a judge ordered Bonang held without bail, the spokesperson said. A not guilty plea was entered on Bonang's behalf and he is due back in court on July 17.
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Bonang had left the Braintree neighborhood years prior, and moved roughly 20 miles away to Marshfield, Mass., according to the Boston Globe. At times, the pair had butted heads, Norfolk D.A. Michael Morrissey said.
“We believe this is a targeted event," Morrissey said.
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The Braintree Police Department had “multiple, previous contacts,” with Bonang, a DA's office spokesperson told the Herald. He is due to appear before a judge on Thursday.
Melchionda worked as the director of health services for Weston, Massachusett’s Public School system, and was also a local school nurse, Weston Public School Superintendent Midge Connolly wrote in a message on the system’s website.
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“She was an incredibly dedicated healthcare professional and an outstanding person who gave her all to the communities she served,” Connolly wrote. “Laurie was leading our work here in Weston during this time of COVID, working throughout the entire town making sure the safety of all residents remained paramount. She embodied all of the positive traits of a high quality nurse … Laurie’s zest for life and love of her family were evident in all that she did and will always be cherished.”