Two bailiffs and the shooting suspect are dead after a mid-afternoon shooting at the Berrien courthouse in St. Joseph, Michigan according to county sheriff Paul Bailey.
The suspect was an inmate at the Berrien county jail and was being moved from the courthouse to the jail at the time of the shooting. According to witnesses the inmate grabbed the bailiffs gun and began shooting – first hitting a sherrif’s deputy, then two bailiffs and another civilian. It is not yet known whether he was handcuffed at the time of the incident. The deputy and civilian sustained non-life threatening injuries and are in stable condition and receiving treatment at Lakeland Health in St. Joseph
Bailey noted that the shooting occurred in or near a third floor-courtroom where the shooter took hostages and members of the public immediately began to run for shelter as several officers jumped into action and shot the suspect.
According to Bailey, the courthouse has been secured and the scene is rendered safe. No other victims or suspects were involved. The courthouse will remain closed through at least Tuesday to allow time for a thorough investigation and cleanup of the scene.
St. Joseph is a town of about 8,300 people about 100 miles northeast of Chicago by car.