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University of Vermont student Kayla Noonan killed in murder-suicide by Mikal Dixon

A former University of Vermont student armed with an AR-15-style weapon shot and killed a woman and seriously injured her friend before turning the gun on himself just blocks from the college campus, police have said. 

Mikal Dixon, 27, broke into the window of an apartment along North Winooski Avenue in Burlington at 2:20 a.m. Monday, after unsuccessfully trying to force open the front door, said Burlington Police Department Acting Chief Jon Murad. Kayla Noonan, 22, and a friend, who was identified only as “C.R.,” were staying at the apartment at the time. 

Classes at the university, which has a campus about one mile from the approximate crime scene, are scheduled to begin Aug. 29. 

Dixon, police said, climbed through the window with an AR-15-style short-barrel rifle, at which point he began shooting. 

“He shot and killed Ms. Noonan. He shot and wounded C.R., and then he shot and killed himself,” Murad said. Police were able to piece together the tragic series of events from C.R., who called 911 but was “very close to death,” by the time officers were able to get into the home. 

Police found out that Kayla Noonan and the shooter had a previous relationship.
Police found out that Kayla Noonan and the shooter had a previous relationship.
Facebook/Kayla Noonan

Police feared C.R.’s description of the events would be “dying declaration statements,” based on her condition, but she is now in stable but critical condition, Murad said. 

Investigators determined that Dixon and Noonan “had a relationship going back several years,” and there was also a relationship between all three of them, though Murad would not describe the relationships in further detail.

The weapon was recovered at the scene, though police could not immediately say whether the gun was legally purchased.

The motive in the attack was not specified.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or a mental health crisis, please contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988.

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