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Community mourns slain Department of Public Safety worker

July 12, 2018
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People hold candles to honor a Vermont Department of Public Safety employee who was killed by her former boyfriend, during a vigil in Barre, Vt., Wednesday, July 11, 2018. More than 100 people turned out for the vigil to pay tribute to 29-year-old Courtney Gaboriault, who was remembered as kind and caring and someone who loved her dog, her family and fashion. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)

BARRE, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont community on Wednesday mourned the loss of a state Department of Public Safety employee killed by her former boyfriend.

More than 100 people turned out for the evening vigil in Barre to pay tribute to 29-year-old Courtney Gaboriault (Gah-BORE_eeo), who was remembered as kind and caring and someone who loved her dog, her family and fashion.

The vigil was organized by friends of Gaboriault, who worked for the Public Safety Department’s Vermont Marijuana Registry. The department includes the Vermont State Police, the Vermont Crime Information Center and Vermont Emergency Management.

“Courtney really deserves this and so much more than what she was given,” said Kate Root, who organized the vigil. “I wanted to organize this event tonight in her honor because I feel like I didn’t do enough for her before she was taken from us. She was the kindest person. She wasn’t just nice, she was kind. She was always putting herself out there for people.”

Another friend said she couldn’t sleep the other night and wrote down her thoughts which she read to the crowd. “I can tell you that you are never alone. There is always someone willing to help, whether it be family, a friend or a crisis hotline,” said Meg Leitao.

Police said 30-year-old Luke Lacroix shot her multiple times outside her Barre apartment July 4. Lacroix was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

At the vigil, mourners brought donations of dog food and toys for the Central Vermont Humane Society, which Gaboriault supported.

The Burlington Free Press reports that Gaboriault is the fourth woman to be killed by a partner or ex-partner in Vermont this year, according to preliminary numbers.

Last week, Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Anderson called her death “another senseless act perpetrated by a man who sought to control and dominate another person.”

“The epidemic of domestic violence requires attention from every one of us, and victims need our full support and understanding,” he said. “It is important to remember that domestic violence is about the offender’s need for power and control, not a potential consequence of falling in love. Perpetrators of domestic violence act with a sense of entitlement to exert control over their victims. Domestic violence is never justified and is the antithesis of love.”

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