Crime and Justice

Man shot in apparent homicide in Cambridge

Cambridge homicide
Vermont State Police responded to the scene of the apparent homicide of Michael Haines in Cambridge. Photo by Ellie French/VTDigger

Vermont State Police are investigating the apparent homicide of a man at a home in Cambridge early Tuesday morning.

Vermont State Police are investigating the apparent homicide of 39-year-old Michael Haines at his home in Cambridge early Tuesday morning.

Law enforcement discovered Haines’ body at 3 a.m. following a 911 call to the Hillside Drive duplex where he lived. State police say early indications show Haines was shot in a targeted incident.

Haines’ body was brought to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington Tuesday afternoon. Maj. Dan Trudeau of the Vermont State Police an autopsy will likely be completed Wednesday to determine cause and manner of death.

Trudeau said there are not yet any named suspects in the case, though he said law enforcement has several leads. He said investigators are using information from the victim’s phone, address and associates to learn as much as they can.

“We’re still in the early stages of the investigation,” Trudeau said. “At this point in the investigation, we believe it to be an isolated, targeted event. The public shouldn’t be in any type of danger at all.”

Trudeau said he isn’t sure who made the 911 call to the scene, but said he knows Haines “was on the phone at one point” in the night.

He said there was one other person inside the residence at the time of the shooting, who he confirmed is now safe.

Haines was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2012 for an armed bank robbery in Georgia, Vermont. In August 2019, Haines, who had a warrant out for his arrest, was picked up by police in Cambridge “as part of an ongoing investigation” and brought to Franklin County Court.

Several neighbors said they heard the shots fired early in the morning. A woman who lives across the road from Haines’ residence, Lisa Stead, said her cat woke her up right before the shots went off.

“Within two minutes, I heard ‘bang, bang, bang, bang,’ and I knew they were gunshots,” she said. “It scared the crap out of me — I’ve been awake ever since.”

Stead said she was listening for a car to peel off afterwards, and didn’t hear anything, but she said police arrived at the scene very quickly thereafter.

“This stuff just doesn’t happen here,” she said. “We’ve been here 22 years and have never had anything like that happen.”

None of the neighbors VTDigger spoke with knew the residents of the home. Stead said there’s a higher turnover at those properties than the other houses on the road.

“They just come and go, they’re apartments,” she said. “I get the impression people move in and out of there more frequently. But we’ve never had issues with them before.”

Shortly after 12 p.m. Tuesday, police got a warrant for the house and were able to go inside and investigate the scene. A handful of investigators spent the afternoon taking photographs of the house, doing an investigation inside, and using a drone to create a map of the property.

The incident is being investigated by the Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit and Bureau of Criminal Investigations, as well as the Crime Scene Search Team, and Field Force Division.

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Ellie French

About Ellie

Ellie French is a general assignment reporter and news assistant for VTDigger. She is a recent graduate of Boston University, where she interned for the Boston Business Journal and served as the editor-in-chief of The Daily Free Press, BU’s student newspaper. She is originally from Duluth, Minnesota.

Email: [email protected]

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