A Massachusetts man accused of fatally shooting his former neighbor disguised himself as a UPS driver while hiding his rifle in a box, authorities said.
Police and prosecutors say Robert Bonang, 61, donned a surgical mask, a gray wig, as well as brown pants and a jacket – like a UPS employee – before ringing the doorbell of 59-year-old Laurie Melchionda’s Braintree home and shooting her several times early Wednesday, the Boston Globe reports.
Melchionda, who was shot in the back and head, was later pronounced dead at a hospital. The former school nurse most recently worked as the head of health programs for Weston Public Schools and had served on the Braintree Board of Health for several years, the newspaper reports.
A teenager babysitting nearby said she saw Bonang and was “uncomfortable” about his appearance, which looked as if he was a “fake UPS driver” who was carrying a “weird” box that didn’t look like other packages, according to Norfolk Assistant District Attorney and a Braintree police report cited by the newspaper.
The young witness said she then heard screaming after Bonang rang Melchionda’s doorbell and saw him “shooting from the box,” police wrote in a report.
Another resident said he saw Bonang fire a hangun six times into lawn outside the home, police said.
Bonang, who previously lived across the street from Melchionda, was later taken into custody at gunpoint. While he has cooperated with investigators, Bonang has yet to provide a motive for the shooting, according to the records cited by the Globe.
Bonang, who was arraigned via video Thursday, pleaded not guilty to murder and illegal firearm charges. He also told a judge he intends to hire his own attorney.
Bonang, most recently of Marshfield, had lived on the street with his elderly father, who died in April 2014, and neighbors characterized him an “introvert” who rarely stepped outside, according to Braintree police records.
Bonang’s sister, Catherine, told Braintree police in 2009 that he had been “institutionalized” more than once as she reported an alleged domestic incident between the two, the Globe reports.
Five years later, Bonang’s sister called Braintree police again to ask that he be involuntarily committed to a mental health hospital, saying he was showing signs of delusional and “paranoid behavior,” police wrote.
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