Vermont State Police have released a composite sketch of a person of interest in the killing of Honoree Fleming, a retired college dean who was shot dead last week while walking on a trail near the Vermont State University campus in Castleton. The crime has unsettled the small college town, prompting police to urge the public to remain vigilant. It is yet to be determined whether the shooting was a random act or a targeted attack.
The sketch was created based on witness accounts of a man seen on the trail before Fleming’s body was discovered. According to Capt. Scott Dunlap, commander of the Vermont State Police major crime unit, the person of interest is described as a white male, approximately 5-foot-10 (1.78 meters) tall, with short red hair, and appearing to be in his 20s. He was observed wearing a dark gray T-shirt and carrying a black backpack. Police consider him armed and dangerous.
Witnesses reported that the man was behaving strangely, although specific details were not disclosed by Dunlap. Multiple individuals observed the person of interest, but the exact number has not been disclosed. Dunlap emphasized the importance of reporting any suspicious activity to the authorities.
In response to the ongoing investigation, students and residents in Castleton have been advised to lock their doors and remain together. Amelia Harrison, a university student, shared her cautious approach to personal safety since the incident, expressing surprise at the length of time it is taking to make an arrest.
Honoree Fleming, a retired dean and professor of education at what is now the Vermont State University Castleton Campus, was found shot to death last Thursday, approximately a mile (1.61 kilometers) south of the campus. The Vermont State Police spokesperson, Dunlap, stated that it is still unknown whether the shooting was a random act or a targeted attack.
Castleton, located in west-central Vermont, is known for its scenic mountain views and slate and marble quarries. The university, founded in 1787, was closed last week for fall break, with classes resuming on Tuesday.