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Criminal Justice & Legal System

3 killed at Berrien County courthouse

Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey addresses the media after today's shooting.
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Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey addresses the media after today's shooting.

Update 9:56 a.m.

Authorities say the man who killed two courthouse bailiffs in Berrien County before being killed by other officers was probably trying to escape.

44-year-old Larry Darnell Gordon was being escorted to a hearing on multiple felony charges when he grabbed a deputy's gun and used it to injure the deputy and kill two bailiffs -- 61-year-old Joseph Zangara and 63-year-old Ronald Kienzle.

Gordon and the bailiffs were white; the injured deputy is black.

Gordon briefly took hostages before other officers shot and killed him. Initially, authorities said Gordon was not handcuffed, but it turns out he was handcuffed with his hands in front.

6:50 p.m.

A sheriff says a civilian injured during a courthouse shooting in western Michigan was the fourth victim to be shot during the incident. Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey is giving more details to reporters Monday night, hours after two bailiffs were killed by an inmate who wrested a gun from an officer.

The other victims are a sheriff's deputy and a civilian, although their injuries aren't life-threatening. The sheriff says the inmate was killed by other officers. No names have been released. Bailey says, "Our hearts are torn apart." Gov. Rick Snyder calls it a "terrible day in a wonderful community."

The courthouse is in St. Joseph, 100 miles northeast of Chicago.

6:30 p.m.

A sheriff says a prisoner was being moved at western Michigan courthouse when he disarmed an officer and shot and killed two bailiffs. Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey said at a news conference Monday evening that a deputy sheriff was also shot and wounded. Bailey said the inmate was being moved from a holding cell.

The shooting happened at the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph.

St. Joseph is located in far southwestern Michigan's Berrien County, which borders Indiana.

5:31 p.m.

A shooting took place at the Berrien County courthouse in St. Joseph in southwest Michigan this afternoon, according to Sheriff Paul Bailey. Governor Rick Snyder says the Michigan State Police has secured the scene.

Two bailiffs are dead. One deputy sheriff is injured and at a hospital in stable condition. Sheriff Bailey said the suspect was shot and killed by responding officers, and said some civilians in the courtroom were also injured during the shooting.

The Berrien County Sheriff's department is expected to hold another press conference at 6 p.m.

WOOD-TV broadcast the initial press conference held this afternoon. You can watch it below or here.

We will continue to follow the story and update this post.

*This post was last updated at 5:31 p.m.