AuSABLE FORKS — Multiple witnesses say they saw a man shoot and kill a woman at point-blank range on a public road Wednesday morning in Clinton County.
The woman was a passenger in a pickup truck driven by her mother, witnesses said. The man was on foot, a few feet away.
“He shot right through the window at Magen, who was in the passenger seat, and hit her in the head,” Diane Parrow-Drake said.
Witnesses identified the victim as Magen Goyette, 30, of AuSable Forks, and State Police confirmed that Wednesday evening. She was transported to the University of Vermont Healthcare Network at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh where she was pronounced dead.
State Police identified the alleged shooter and arrested David J. Bova, 30, of AuSable Forks and charged him with second-degree murder. Bova was arraigned in Black Brook Town Court and remanded to the Clinton County Jail with no bail.
Goyette and Bova’s Facebook pages show matching photos of her sitting on his lap, posted in December 2018, and her page says she is in a relationship with him. His Facebook page show him to be 30 years old as well.
The shooting took place around 9 a.m. Local schools were locked down for a period of time Thursday morning while police searched for the assailant. State Police said late that morning that there is no threat to public safety.
Fred Drake owns Fred’s Auto Repair at 138 Silver Lake Road, next door to Parrow-Drake, his sister-in-law. He said he was pulling out of his driveway when the suspect crashed an SUV into trees in front of the property where he lives and works. Drake said he sprinted over and helped the man out of the vehicle.
“The vehicle was totaled,” Drake said. “He had cuts and stuff on his face, and I kept asking him if he was OK, if you want to call an ambulance. ‘No,’ he said, ‘I’m fine. This happened earlier.’ So I don’t know what he was talking about.”
Drake said he had seen the man before but did not know him. He said several of his customers came over to help the man as well.
Parrow-Drake said she recognized Bova and yelled over to ask if he needed her to call 911. His response seemed off, she said.
“Don’t you call anybody,” Bova yelled back.
“He was drinking or something because he was all wobbly and couldn’t stand still,” she said.
“He wanted me to pull the vehicle out, so I went over the get the hauler,” Drake said. As he did so, Bova went to get something from the back seat of his vehicle and emerged waving a black rifle, firing shots in the air.
“That’s when some of us were ducking and some of ’em were running,” Drake said.
It wasn’t a hunting rifle, Drake said; it was military-style, “like ones you’d see in them action movies.
“I said, ‘Hey, calm down. Just put the gun down. You ain’t got to do nothing.’ And he started saying a bunch of (expletive) and started walking down the road.”
At that moment, a pickup truck appeared over a hill on the road. As it slowed down, Drake said the man walked up to within 3 or 4 feet of the passenger side and “shot through the side of the vehicle.
“I heard five or six shots,” Drake said. “It happened so fast I don’t remember exactly, but it was more than three.”
The man didn’t stop to reload, Drake said, indicating that it was a gun with multiple rounds in its magazine.
“He was just pulling the trigger, as far as I could see,” he said.
Drake recognized Michelle Goyette driving the truck and her daughter Magen in the passenger seat. He said he’s known the family “forever.”
“She stopped right beside me and started screaming and said, ‘Fred, he shot my daughter,'” Drake said.
“I run over to the passenger door and opened it up, tried to help her.”
The man with the gun then left the scene on foot, heading toward town, Drake said.
Derrick Martineau lives right near Drake on Silver Lake Road. He’s a lifelong AuSable Forks resident and a member of the local volunteer fire and rescue squads, as well as past chief of the rescue squad. He said he heard about the crash on his radio scanner and walked over to respond.
He found himself dodging bullets on his way there.
“All of a sudden I could hear gunshots and could hear the distinct sound of lead going over my head and started hitting my house, so I kind of dove back behind the other house.”
Martineau said he heard Drake yelling that someone was shot, so he called 911.
He said he then saw the shooter walk away south on Silver Lake Road. Once the man was out of sight, Martineau said he ran over to the truck and applied first aid to Magen Goyette. He, too, said he knows the family well.
The passenger-side window of the truck was shot out, he said.
“I assessed the wounds and tried to keep pressure, keep her from going into shock until the ambulance arrived.”
She was still breathing when he helped load her into the ambulance, he said.
State Police said Magen Goyette was transported to Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh, where she was pronounced dead.
‘She’d always smile and wave’
“She was a nice girl,” Martineau said of Magen. “When I’d see her, she’d always smile and wave. That’s the way the family is.
“They’re good people, and we’re a small community, and it really sucks to see something like this happen. There’s no need for it.”
“It can happen anywhere, and you’d never know,” he said. “I can’t speculate what happened or what, but there ain’t nothing worth shooting somebody for.”