Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ex-cop killed after firing at U.S. courthouse in W.Va.

WHEELING, W.Va. — A retired police officer armed with an assault weapon and a handgun fired up to two dozen shots at a U.S. courthouse on Wednesday before police returned fire and killed him, authorities said.

Wheeling police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger identified the gunman as Thomas J. Piccard, 55, of Bridgeport, Ohio. He was a retired Wheeling police officer.

Schwertfeger did not speculate on a motive for the assault on the Wheeling Federal Building. Three on-duty security officers were injured by flying debris during the onslaught, he said.

Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie said police told him Piccard was a 20-year-plus veteran of the force who retired 13 years ago.

Investigators were seeking a search warrant for Piccard's home in hopes of determining a motive, said Chief Deputy Mike Claxton of the U.S. Marshals Service in northern West Virginia.

Claxton said a man later identified as Piccard 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.

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

People inside the building ducked under desks as the shots struck the building and shattered windows.

U.S. Attorney Bill Ihlenfeld said shots were fired into at least three rooms in his office on the building's second floor. He described hearing gunshots, then panic among staff.

"Members of my staff were crawling on the floor or running from office to office telling people to get away from the windows," he said.

Ex-cop killed after firing at U.S. courthouse in W.Va. 10/09/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 11:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pinellas votes 7-0 to help sue Legislature over new law favoring charter schools

    K12

    LARGO — They said they had no choice but to do it. They said they would rather reach a compromise.

    Gov. Rick Scott, right, kicks off the 2017 legislative session on March 7 in Tallahassee. Scott later signed a massive education bill that is being challenged by several school districts. On Tuesday, Pinellas became one of them. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  2. Deputies find 24 dogs, 2 birds, 2 cats, 1 child in Hernando home

    Public Safety

    SPRING HILL —A woman was arrested Monday on charges of animal cruelty after deputies said they found injured animals at her Spring Hill home.

  3. New Graham-Cassidy health care plan stumbles under opposition from governors

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The suddenly resurgent Republican effort to undo the Affordable Care Act was dealt a blow on Tuesday when a bipartisan group of governors came out against a proposal gaining steam in the Senate.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joined by, from left, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., speaks to reporters as he pushes a last-ditch effort to uproot former President Barack Obama's health care law, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. To win, 50 of the 52 GOP senators must back it -- a margin they failed to reach when the chamber rejected the effort in July. [/J. Scott Applewhite | Associated Press]
  4. Joe Maddon on being back at Trop, Cash, a new stadium

    Blogs

    More to come later, but a couple of quick early highlights from former Rays manager Joe Maddon's return to the Trop with the Cubs:

    Joe Maddon, right, speaks with Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey before Tuesday's game at Tropicana Field.
  5. Former Lightning forward Brian Boyle diagnosed with cancer, expects to keep playing

    Lightning Strikes

    New Jersey Devils forward Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor said can largely be treated with medication.

    Brian Boyle has been diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia, a type of bone-marrow cancer that the team's doctor says can be treated with medication, the Devils announced Tuesday. [AP photo]