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Prosecutor: Intended Target Of Attack Had Fled Home Because of Threats

September 30, 1992

CHICOPEE, Mass. (AP) _ A spurned lover who shot to death three people at his ex-fiancee’s home may have committed suicide only because he realized his intended target was not at home, the district attorney said.

The ex-fiancee, Karen Dupont, had left the apartment the previous evening because she had been threatened by former fiance Daniel Bessonette, said District Attorney William Bennett. Bessonette, 26, of Holyoke, received a court order at that time to stay away from her.

Nevertheless, Bessonette returned early Tuesday. He spread gasoline on the steps leading to the third-floor apartment, then knocked down the door and began shooting, police said.

The victims were identified as Dupont’s 8-year-old son, Keith; her sister, Katrina Twombley, 22; and Twombley’s boyfriend, Jesse Mitchell, 20.

″I’m not sure if he killed these people and then realized his target wasn’t there, and then turned the gun on himself,″ said Bennett.

Authorities said the boy may have been shot by accident.

Dupont’s 4-year-old child and her sister’s 1-year-old were in the apartment but escaped unharmed.

Bennett said the case is ″so depressing that it’s hard to talk about it.″ However, he said, ″I don’t think we should be surprised anymore by the violence that exists in our homes.″

Authorities say Bessonette and Dupont split up in August and she returned his engagement ring Monday.

″He said he was going to take the little boy and do something to her,″ said Shelly Bassett, who said she was a friend of Dupont’s.

On Tuesday, state Sen. James P. Jajuga said he would file legislation calling for electronic monitoring of people under restraining orders and tougher bail standards for offenders.

State Commissioner of Public Safety Thomas C. Rapone said more than 700 of 2,000 restraining orders issued in Massachusetts domestic violence cases in the last three weeks have been violated.

The 700 restraining orders violated were among those issued since Sept. 8 when a bill creating a central registry on domestic violence was approved.

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