Updates To The Michigan Courthouse Shooting That Killed & Injured Local Officials
In another tragic event to mar the month of July, a shooting has taken place at a courthouse in Berrien County, Michigan. Around 2:25 p.m. local time, a "disturbance" was reported on the third floor of the courthouse. Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey told The Detroit Free Press that two bailiffs and the gunman are dead, and a deputy sheriff was shot but is in stable condition. The deputy sheriff who was injured has been transported to Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph. The shooter is still unidentified. Several civilians were reportedly taken to Lakeland Hospital and are being treated as well.
According to Sheriff Bailey's account, the civilians in the building rushed for shelter upon hearing gunshots. He explained during a news conference: "They went for shelter once the shooting occurred and other brave officers were able to come to their rescue and take the shooter down." In addition, he said that the sheriff's department is investigating the shooting along with the St. Joseph's Police Department and Michigan State Police.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has tweeted on the subject, asking for prayers and explaining that officials will share updates as more information becomes available. He also noted that Michigan State Police have secured the scene of the shooting.
One witness and resident of the area, Gretta Volkenstein, who lives a block away and has friends in the building, explained to Fox 2 News of Detroit that "basically the whole city" was on lockdown. According to Volkenstein, bomb-sniffing dogs were brought into the building while investigators surveyed the scene. As a social work student who lives a block away from the scene of the shooting, and who was an intern with the Child Protective Services, Volkenstein is personally familiar with the area. She told Fox 2 News that medics were at the scene in the parking lot of the courthouse after the evacuation of most employees, although she said that some were in lockdown inside.
A public information officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections named Chris Gautz tweeted that all Department of Corrections staff are safe, despite the mass confusion the neighborhood is currently experiencing. Full reports of this shooting are not yet available, as this is still heavily under investigation. Likewise, details about the specifics of the event, like the names of the victims, are not yet publicized. As investigations continue, these details will be released accordingly.
Editors note: This post has been updated from its original version.