Court Security

Gunman slain after standoff outside Florida courthouse; sheriff says he made previous threats

A Florida courthouse was locked down Friday and police converged on the grounds after a man was spotted holding a gun and carrying a bag in the turnaround area of the parking lot outside.

At least eight law enforcement officers took shelter behind vehicles with their firearms trained on the unidentified man outside the Brevard County Courthouse in Viera, and two snipers were stationed on the roof of the Moore Justice Center, according to WESH.

Then, a SWAT team arrived and took cover behind an armored truck . They tried to subdue the gunman with a stun gun, but he continued to act aggressively, and they shot him, Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey told WTSP.

The gunman was shot and killed as he ran toward the courthouse at about 1 p.m., according to WESH and WFTV. Ivey didn’t identify the man but said he had made previous threats at the courthouse.

“We don’t know exactly what he’s aggravated over. We do know that there has been a buildup of this,” Ivey said prior to the man’s death.

He told WFTV that the gunman had previously made threats against some judges and said he would use bombs at the courthouse.

It isn’t known what was in the bag the gunman was holding.

The courthouse was evacuated after the shooting and closed for the remainder of the day on Friday. An investigation is continuing.

The incident put a temporary stop to the first-degree murder trial of Brandon Bradley, who is accused of killing a Brevard County sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop in 2012. Florida Today and WESH have stories about the case.

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