Three people are dead after a shootout in a Wilmington, Del., courthouse. One of the deceased is the alleged shooter, who also injured two police officers in an exchange of gunfire. They are hospitalized in stable condition, according to local authorities.
“Our thoughts and prayers right now are with the victims of this senseless violence and the Capitol police officers who put their lives on the line to protect the courts and public every day,” Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said in a statement released Monday.
Officials said that the gunman entered New Castle Courthouse around 8 a.m. and opened fire in the lobby, before passing through metal detectors at the security checkpoint. A report from Delaware Online identified Thomas Matusiewicz as the shooter. One of the two women killed in the shooting was Christine Belford, the ex-wife of Matusiewicz’s son David and the mother of his three grandchildren.
David Matusiewicz spent time in a federal prison for kidnapping and bank fraud. He was convicted of kidnapping his three daughters, and forging Belford’s name on home equity loan paperwork. David Matusiewicz was released from jail last year and was in the midst of a custody battle with Belford.
The second victim of today’s shooting has not been identified.
Wilmington Police Chief Christine Dunning is currently out of state, participating in a roundtable discussion on gun violence with Vice President Joe Biden and Philadelphia authorities. Dunning did not answer questions on the incident when asked by The Associated Press, but she did link the shooting to ongoing gun control efforts.
“It sort of emphasizes what the vice president is trying to do with gun legislation, to try to make it safer for our communities,” she said. “This is just not an urban city problem. This is a national, wide problem.”