Ex-Cop Killed In Federal Courthouse Shooting

Police say a retired police officer armed with two weapons fired up to two dozen shots at a U.S. courthouse in West Virginia before police returned fire and killed him.

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

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

He also said three on-duty security officers were injured by flying debris during the onslaught.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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West Virginia State Police say a man who fired shots at a federal courthouse in Wheeling has died from police fire.

State police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous confirmed that the man died Wednesday. The U.S. Marshals Services says officers fired at the man after he shot up to two dozen rounds at the courthouse.

Marshals Service Chief Deputy Mike Claxton says one person inside the courthouse suffered minor injuries. Baylous did not have the gunman's identity.

The U.S. Marshals Service says the man fired between 15 and 25 shots at the court building with what they described as an assault-style rifle.

Police are seeking a motive.


The U.S. Marshals Service says a man who they believe was armed with an assault-type rifle fired up to two dozen rounds at the federal court building in a West Virginia city on Wednesday before security officers returned fire, critically wounding the gunman.

One security officer within the Wheeling Federal Building was injured by flying debris, but there were no other injuries, said Chief Deputy Mike Claxton of the Marshals Service in northern West Virginia.

The gunman, whose name was not released, was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, Claxton said.

He said investigators were seeking a search warrant for the gunman's home in hopes of determining the motive and if he acted alone.

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 the man 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.

Courthouse security and local police ultimately returned fire and hit the man. He did not know if there was an exchange of gunfire.

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

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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