Judge Kills Suspect After Being Shot Near Ohio Courthouse: Official

August 21, 2017 Updated: August 21, 2017

An Ohio county judge was wounded Monday morning when he was walking toward a courthouse, and the alleged gunman was shot and killed.

Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr., 65, was shot near the courthouse in Steubenville, 30 miles west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, WTOV reported.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla told CBS News that the judge, who was apparently armed, returned fire, killing the suspect.

Abdalla cited a courthouse video showing Judge Bruzzese firing about five shots at the gunman, who also fired about five shots. Earlier reports say that a probation officer shot the gunman.

Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. was shot at the Jefferson County Courthouse and was taken to a hospital via a medical helicopter, WTOV reported. (Google Maps)
Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. was shot at the Jefferson County Courthouse and was taken to a hospital via a medical helicopter, WTOV reported. (Google Maps)

The judge was shot in an alleyway near the courthouse.

“We’re starting to put this whole picture together, but basically what you have is the judge is going to work, these subjects were waiting for them. He comes up, shoots at the judge. The judge returns fire,” Steubenville City Manager James Mavromatis told the news outlet.

Witnesses told the news station that they heard gunshots at around 8 a.m.

(Google Maps)
(Google Maps)

“My alarm went off at 8 a.m., and I snoozed it, and a minute or two later, I heard approximately seven or eight gunshots, and I went to look out the window and I seen somebody in a white shirt, probably a detective, kneeling down firing at something, and that’s when I knew something happened down here,” Cody Allison, a nearby resident, told WTOV.

After the suspect was shot, police took another suspect, who was in the car with the gunman, into custody.

Bruzzese—who according to public records, started working for the courthouse in 1998—is said to be in stable condition after he was hospitalized, Mavromatis said. Ohio Gov. John Kasich was reportedly briefed on the incident.

Officials closed the courthouse for the rest of the day.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a statement that teams from the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation had begun a probe into the shooting.

In video footage, the suspect’s body can be seen lying next to a car near a bank drive-thru.

An investigation is pending.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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