Delaware court shooting: Custody battle turns fatal
A shooter at a Delaware courthouse killed two women and wounded police officers before being fatally shot by police. The shooting began before he reached the metal detectors at the Delaware courthouse.
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Dick Lawyer works part time across the street at the law office of Casarino, Christman, Shalk, Ransom & Doss. He said his office building was on lockdown for a few hours, starting about 8:15 a.m. The shooting occurred about five minutes earlier. He said he and colleagues were shaken at first but calmer hours later. "We have a couple of people whose relatives work at the courthouse," said Lawyer, who works as a document management specialist for the firm.Skip to next paragraph
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He said the parking garage in the basement of the building – called the Renaissance Center – was still on lockdown as of 3:20 p.m. Monday.
Robert Vess dropped off his wife, Dorothy, for jury duty at the courthouse Monday morning. He said it wasn't until after 10:30 a.m. that she was able to call him and let him know she was safe. Vess said his wife, who works as a baker at a grocery store, was crying when she called, but he thought she would be all right.
"She had said, 'If I had my way, I'd do jury duty every day,' but I don't think so after this," Vess said.
Diana Dorn of Wilmington, who lives right behind the courthouse, said she heard the shooting from her bedroom window.
"You could hear it really clear. It was like pow, pow, pow, pow," she said. "That's normal in my neighborhood with the drug dealers and everything."
She said there was a heavy police response within minutes. She said a shooting at the courthouse was shocking.
"This is like way out of the norm for him to go in there and start shooting," Dorn said. "And the police station is right there. What was he thinking?"
A news release from the state court administrator said the county courthouse would be closed Tuesday for the investigation and repairs.
"The violence today has saddened and horrified all of us," Delaware Chief Justice Myron T. Steele said in the statement. "I know I can speak for our entire judiciary in thanking the Capitol Police for risking their lives to protect as many of our citizens and employees as they could."