A Vermont man was arrested for allegedly murdering his wife and severely wounding his mother-in-law when he attacked them with a meat cleaver Thursday afternoon, PEOPLE confirms.
Aita Gurung, 34, was arrested on Thursday and was held at the Chittendon Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington Thursday night on suspicion of second-degree murder and attempted murder, according to jail records.
The Nepal native had allegedly been released from a hospital earlier on Thursday after a voluntary mental health evaluation, Burlington police say in a statement.
At about 2:30 p.m., after returning home from the hospital, Gurung allegedly killed his wife, Yogeswari Khadka, 32, with a meat cleaver, striking her skull, arms and hands, the statement says.
Gurung also allegedly attacked her mother, Thulsa Rimal, 54. Rimal was taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center, where she was in critical but stable condition Thursday night, according to local news station WCAX.
The couple’s 8-year-old child was at school at the time and was not harmed, say police.
The alleged attack is believed to have started in the kitchen, spilling out onto the street in front of the residence, where several neighbors tried to intervene.
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One neighbor with a firearm “held the suspect at bay momentarily but they were wary of being attacked themselves,” says the statement.
Using the cover of a ballistic shield, officers were able to approach Gurung and arrest him.
“I heard a blood curdling scream that you just can’t make up,” Sam Rollo, who was working nearby, told WCAX.
Gurung had “sought police attention for mental health issues and concerns about his deteriorating relationship with his wife” on Saturday and was transported by EMS to the University of Vermont Medical Center, according to the statement.
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Gurung’s father-in-law told police Gurung had been allegedly voluntarily admitted for an evaluation, but that he was discharged Thursday at his request.
Gurung is expected to be arraigned Friday at the Chittenden County criminal division of the Vermont Superior Court in Burlington.
It is unclear whether he has retained an attorney.
The child is now of the care of the grandfather, say authorities.