Thomas Piccard, Former Wheeling Police Officer, ID’ed as Killed Gunman

October 9, 2013 Updated: October 9, 2013

Thomas Piccard, or Thomas Picard, a former Wheeling police officer, has been identified as the gunman who fired shots at the Wheeling Federal Building on Wednesday before being killed by police officers.

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger identified the gunman in Wednesday afternoon’s shooting as 55-year-old Thomas J. Piccard of Bridgeport, Ohio. He retired from being a police officer in Wheeling in 2000.

Thomas Piccard is also being identified by some news outlets as Thomas Picard.

Previously, sources had confirmed the identification with several local news agencies.

At a news conference late Wednesday, Schwertfeger said Piccard was armed with an assault weapon and a handgun.

The gunman fired about 20 shots with an assault rifle before police shot him. 

Three on-duty security officers were injured by flying debris during the onslaught.

The gunman died at a local hospital, police said.

The police officer who fatally shot the gunman will be on administrative leave pending an investigation, reported Howard Monroe, a local radio show host. A court security officer also shot the gunman.

Investigators were seeking a search warrant for Piccard’s home in hopes of determining a motive and if he acted alone, said Chief Deputy Mike Claxton of the Marshals Service in northern West Virginia.

Asked if the gunman had any beef with the U.S. government, Claxton said, “We’re really digging hard at this point to find out.”

Claxton said a man later identified as Piccard began firing from a parking lot across from the federal building. “He was observed in the parking lot very quickly after the first shots were fired,” he said.

The building houses a variety of courtrooms and related offices, including judges, prosecutors and law enforcement.

Officials said it was too early to tell whether Piccard was targeting anyone in the building or what his motive may have been.

Story developing; check back for updates.

Follow @ETBreakingNews for breaking news from around the world.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber