Who was Kayla Noonan? Vermont student, 22, shot dead by Mikal Dixon before turning AR-15 on himself

Who was Kayla Noonan? Vermont student, 22, shot dead by Mikal Dixon before turning AR-15 on himself
Kayla Noonan, 22, was murdered before the shooter turned the gun on himself (Instagram/kay.r.n)

BURLINGTON, VERMONT: Mikal Dixon, a 27-year-old man armed with AR-15 broke into a home and fatally shot a young woman named Kayla Noonan, 22, and severely injured another one before the shooter turned the gun on himself, according to police. The name of the survivor was, however, not disclosed by the Acting Chief of Police, Jon Murad, in a press conference on Monday, July 25. Police only described her as a 22-year-old woman. 

“At approximately 0220 hours Burlington Police Department dispatchers received calls about gunshots at an apartment on North Winooski Avenue,” Murad said in an initial press release. “Police responded and discovered one male, 27, and one female, 22, dead from gunshot wounds. A second female, 22, was seriously injured from multiple gunshot wounds and was removed to the hospital. Police recovered the AR-15 believed to have been used in the crime. Police currently believe that all involved persons are accounted for, and there is no additional danger to the public, but this is preliminary information from an investigation that is in its earliest stages.” 


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Based on the evidence and on-scene statements by the survivor, the police believe that Dixon attempted to break down a door at the apartment. He could not get in, and instead broke a window and entered through there, the chief said. The suspect allegedly shot and killed Noonan, and shot the survivor twice. Officers managed to arrive at the apartment while the survivor was on the phone with 911, but she was in critical condition at the University of Vermont Medical Center, according to the chief. 


“Two people are dead,” Murad said. “The third has serious, life-altering injuries, but is currently alive in stable although critical condition. I offer my and this department’s deep sympathies to two families in their bereavement and to their friends and loved ones, and I offer fervent hopes for the recovery and the well-being of the living victim, and strength to her family and friends in the days ahead.” This was at the earliest stage of the investigation. Investigators are processing a lot of evidence, including cell phones, in an attempt to figure out the motive, which may be “elusive,” Murad said.

“We believe that Mr. Dixon and Ms. Noonan had a relationship going back several years, and we know that also there was a relationship between all three,” he said. Murad did not characterize the nature of the relationship. “We don’t know right now,” he said. Murad described Noonan as a University of Vermont student from New Jersey. Dixon was from New Hampshire, but police believe he grew up in the Burlington area and used to attend UVM too. 


Mayor Miro Weinberger said Dixon had attended Burlington High School a decade ago. The survivor, who lived in the apartment on North Winooski Avenue, did not attend the school, the chief said. Murad said that based on records he saw, Dixon was arrested previously for low-level offenses, including retail theft and trespass, which did not rise to the level of an offense that would have prohibited him from purchasing a gun. Dixon may have been subject to a restraining order in the past, but not from Noonan or the survivor, Murad said, citing his understanding of the records. 

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