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Shooting at Courthouse Leaves 4 Injured and 1 Dead

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on September 20, 2018 11:15 AM

People were crowding into the courthouse for the afternoon calendar when they heard gunfire just outside.

When the shooter started to come inside, chaos broke out -- people running, falling, yelling, crying. He shot four of them before police arrived, fired and killed him.

In the confusion, the survivors tried to make sense of it. This is not the way justice is supposed to work.

Courthouse Survivors

Attorney David Kaiser was lucky, in a way. He was at the judge's office when he heard an argument and then gunfire outside the courthouse.

In the parking lot, Xuan Sayles saw it happen. A woman running for her life.

"I turned around and saw a guy with a gun and a lady was five to eight feet away from the shooter and his gun jammed up," Sayles told reporters. "He was trying to get it to shoot again and it wouldn't shoot."

A policeman and three other victims were taken to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. The gunman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Domestic Violence

It happened in Masontown, a rural Pennsylvania community of about 3,400. The entire police department responded, and the elementary school locked down.

According to reports, the incident was related to an ongoing domestic violence case. Judge Daniel Shimshock, the only judge at the single-level courthouse, was inside at the time.

The assailant was scheduled for a hearing, having been charged with strangulation and aggravated assault weeks earlier. A protective order had been issued.

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