Posted Mar 14, 2012 06:20 pm CDT
One person was killed and at least three others, including a suspect now in custody, were injured today when a gunman opened fire at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont, Texas.
An elderly woman was killed outside the courthouse, KFDM reports, and at least three others were shot. It appears from current news reports that most or all were shot outside the courthouse and one injured victim fled inside the courthouse.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the dead woman killed outside the courthouse at about 11:20 a.m. is a relative of the shooter, although the relationship isn’t known.
A judge told KPRC that the suspect was wounded as he fled the scene.
The Associated Press says one victim sustained additional injuries when the suspect struck her with his pickup as he was attempting to get away.
The suspect fled to a business about six blocks away, where at least a few of the 80 employees of the business were held hostage, KPRC reports. The suspect was taken into custody after negotiating with a SWAT team.
KDFM is reporting that a judge identified the suspect as someone who was scheduled to attend a court hearing Wednesday afternoon on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child. The Chronicle, relying on information from District Court Judge John Stevens, said the child’s mother testified, and then a break was taken in the court hearing for a regular docket call. After the recess, the judge said, he started hearing gunfire.
A spokesman for the Beaumont police department said the 41-year-old suspect shot and ran over his own daughter at the courthouse today, KPRC reports.
Today’s incident is at least the third time in barely more than a week that a gunman has opened fire in or near a courthouse in this country: Incidents also occurred last Wednesday, outside a courthouse in Tulsa, Okla., and Friday at a historic courthouse in Washington state.
ABAJournal.com: “Deputies Shoot and Wound Barefoot Man Firing Gun Outside Tulsa Courthouse”
CNN Justice: “Officials: 3 hospitalized after shooting outside Oklahoma court”
ABAJournal.com: “Judge Stabbed, Deputy Shot at Wash. State Courthouse; Judges’ Recent Suit Alleged Security Issues”
ABAJournal.com: “Judge Warned in 2007 That Suspect Arrested Last Week in Wash. Courthouse Attack Could Be ‘A Threat’”
Updated at 3:04 p.m. to reflect updates in underlying coverage.