Crime

Man faces murder, gun-related charges in Braintree woman’s shooting death

Robert Bonang, 61, of Marshfield is being held without bail.

Braintree police outside the home of Laurie Melchionda on Thursday. David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe

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In the moments before a Weston school official was fatally shot in the entryway of her Braintree home, a would-be witness was walking past the area late Wednesday morning and saw an individual dressed in what looked like the brown uniform of a UPS delivery person, they later told authorities.

He appeared to ring the doorbell of 64 Howie Road, where Laurie Melchionda, 59, lived, and the witness turned away, Norfolk Assistant District Attorney Greg Connor said during a virtual arraignment Thursday.

But then the passerby heard screaming. They turned, and that’s when they saw the shooting, the assistant district attorney said.

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Robert Bonang, 61, was arraigned virtually on charges of murder, two counts of carrying a firearm without a license, possession of ammunition without a license, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building on Thursday morning. He pleaded not guilty. He’s being held without bail and is scheduled to return to court on July 17.

Multiple 911 calls were made around 11:44 a.m. Wednesday for a reported shooting, Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said in a Wednesday press conference. The victim, Melchionda, was rushed to South Shore Hospital and died of her injuries.

Laurie Melchionda.

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Bongang was taken into custody by Braintree police at the scene. Authorities said during his arraignment that they found a .22-caliber rifle as well as a handgun.

Bonang and Melchionda reportedly knew each other, Morrissey said. Bonang used to live in Melchionda’s Braintree neighborhood but hadn’t for the past six years; he was living in Marshfield at the time of the shooting.

Melchionda was well known in the community, according to Morrissey. She worked as a nurse for 30 years, and, most recently, served as the Weston Public School District’s Director of Health Services and Field School Nurse, according to Midge Connolly, school superintendent, in a statement. Melchionda was also the clerk for the Braintree Board of Health.

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The district was planning for grief counselors to be available for staff and students.

“We are reeling from this shocking and devastating news,” Connolly wrote.

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