Man dressed as fake UPS driver accused of shooting former neighbor with gun hidden in box

A babysitter who was walking in the area with two young children told police she saw a man dressed as a UPS driver, wearing a surgical mask and carrying a "weird" UPS box.


A man dressed as a fake UPS delivery driver is accused of fatally shooting his former neighbor Thursday as witnesses walked by, officials said.

Robert Bonang, 61, was arraigned in the shooting death of Laurie Melchionda, 59, a beloved school nurse, outside her home in Braintree, Massachusetts.

A babysitter who was walking in the area with two young children told police she saw the defendant dressed as a fake UPS driver, wearing a surgical mask and carrying a "weird" UPS box.

The witness said the man walked up to the home at 64 Howie Road and frantically rang the doorbell.

“(The babysitter) walked away with the children, heard screaming, and turned around and saw the man shooting (at the victim),” Assistant District Attorney Greg Connor said.

Melchionda was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and was taken to South Shore Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Bonang was taken into custody at the scene.

Investigators said they found a box near the victim’s front door.

“At the opposite end of the box, (a hole) allowed someone to place their hand inside the box to manipulate the trigger on this rifle,” Connor said.

Additional ammunition was found in Bonang’s rental car, which was parked nearby, officials said.

Bonang was held without bail and is due back in court July 17.

Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey said Bonang was formerly a resident of the neighborhood but now lives in Marshfield.

"They are people who are known to each other," Morrissey said.

Melchionda, who had over 30 years of experience as a nurse, was hired as the director of health services for Weston Public Schools in 2018. She also served as the school nurse at Weston's Field Elementary School.

"In her two years at Weston, she 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," district superintendent Dr. Midge Connolly wrote in a statement.

"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. We are suffering a tremendous loss. Laurie brought professionalism, expertise, warmth, and caring to our school community every day. We will be spending many difficult moments grieving her loss."

In a statement, Braintree Mayor Charles Kokoros said Melchionda became a member of the town's Board of Health in 2016 and had served as a nurse in the Braintree Public Schools system from 1997 through June 2018. She was a member of the staff at Flaherty Elementary School and South Middle School.

"We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of Laurie Melchionda. She was a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend to all who knew her, myself included," Kokoros said in a statement. "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."

Detectives searched Bonang's Marshfield apartment and his vehicle Wednesday night.