CRIME

2 Bailiffs Killed In Michigan Courthouse Shooting: Sheriff

An inmate grabbed an officer's gun and opened fire.

Two bailiffs were killed in a shooting at a county courthouse in western Michigan on Monday after an inmate grabbed an officer’s gun, the local sheriff said.

Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey said Larry Darnell Gordon, 45, of Coloma, Michigan, was shot and killed by officers during the incident. 

Larry Darnell Gordon was killed on Monday while trying to escape from a western Michigan courthouse.
Larry Darnell Gordon was killed on Monday while trying to escape from a western Michigan courthouse.

The shooting happened while bailiffs were removing the inmate from a holding cell for an unspecified court appearance at the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph. The inmate wrested a gun from one of the officers and began shooting, Bailey said.

Joe Zangaro, 61, head of courthouse security, and Ron Kienzle, 63, who had been with the court since 2005, were both slain, ABC7 reported.

“Our hearts are torn apart,” Bailey said at a news conference Monday evening. “They were my friends, they were my colleagues.”

The suspect opened fire around 2:30 p.m., according to TV station WZZM. The shooting started on the third floor of the courthouse, sending people inside the building scrambling for shelter.

“Brave officers were able to come to their rescue and take the shooter down,” Bailey said.

The sheriff said a civilian was shot in the arm in a hallway outside the holding area.

Gov. Rick Snyder tweeted earlier Monday that Michigan State Police were involved in the investigation, and he asked for people to “please join me in praying for those affected.”

St. Joseph is a small lakefront city roughly 100 miles east of Chicago.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Gordon was from Coloma, Minnesota. He was from Coloma, Michigan.

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