fb-pixel Skip to main content

BRAINTREE — Robert C. Bonang III hadn’t lived on this quiet suburban street for years. But on Wednesday morning he returned, authorities said, fatally shooting a former neighbor in the doorway of her home.

Police arrived on Howie Road shortly before noon to find Laurie Melchionda, 59, bleeding from gunshot wounds. She was rushed to South Shore Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, said Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey.

Bonang, 61, who was wearing a brown coat, was arrested at the scene. He will be arraigned Thursday on murder charges, officials said.

Morrissey said Bonang and Melchionda knew each other and had disagreements when Bonang lived on the street. He declined to elaborate.


“We believe this is a targeted event,” Morrissey said. Bonang now lives in Marshfield.

Alan Sass, who lives nearby, called the fatal shooting “a horror show.” He said he did not know Melchionda well, but that she had been kind to his daughter, who briefly attended a school where Melchionda worked.

“It’s just horrible. You never expect that,” Sass said.

Melchionda was the director of health services for the Weston Public Schools as well as the school nurse at Field Elementary School.

“We are reeling from this shocking and devastating news,” Weston schools Superintendent Midge Connolly wrote in a letter posted to the district’s website. “Please join me in extending our heartfelt sympathies to Laurie’s family.”

Melchionda was hired in 2018 and “made a tremendous impact in supporting the health and well-being of all of our students, working closely with her nursing staff, educators, families, service providers, and town leaders,” Connolly wrote.

“Most recently, Laurie was the primary liaison between the schools and the Weston Board of Health throughout the COVID-19 crisis and was instrumental in guiding and supporting the school and the town,” she wrote.


“Laurie brought professionalism, expertise, warmth, and caring to our school community every day,” the superintendent wrote. “We will be spending many difficult moments grieving her loss.”

The mayor of Braintree, Charles C. Kokoros, remembered Melchionda as “a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend to all who knew her, myself included.”

“I know I speak for Superintendent [Frank] Hackett and the School Committee when I say that Laurie dedicated her life to helping others and her kindness and love will be sorely missed,” he said.

She worked as a nurse with the Braintree Public Schools from 1997 until June 2018 and had served on the town’s health board since 2016.

“Laurie was a true champion and advocate of public and environmental health and was incredibly devoted to the positive health and well-being of the residents of our community,” said Marybeth McGrath, Braintree’s director of municipal licenses and inspections. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to her loved ones during this difficult time.”

In the late afternoon, police blocked off sections of Howie Road and spoke to some neighbors behind crime scene tape. Investigators gathered in front a two-story house with gray siding and a charcoal-colored roof, occasionally bringing out evidence in brown paper bags.

John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe. Gal Tziperman Lotan can be reached at gal.lotan@globe.com or at 617-929-2043.