Judge shot in front of courthouse

PENNSYLVANIA — An Ohio judge was shot and wounded in front of a courthouse Monday morning, and the assailant was, in turn, shot and killed by a nearby probation officer.

The Associated Press reports that Jefferson County Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. was shot near the county courthouse in Steubenville, along the Ohio River roughly 30 miles west of Pittsburgh. The city manager of Steubenville, James Mavromatis, told WTOV-TV that Bruzzese was conscious and talking before he was flown to a Pittsburgh-area hospital.

Investigators told WTRF, the judge was listed in stable condition.

Bruzzese was walking through a narrow alley toward the courthouse when the shots were fired, Mavromatis said. Mavromatis described the attack as an ambush, and says it was a “deliberate act against our city’s judge.”

“Clearly looking at the one video, you see the attacker coming up toward him,” Mavromatis said. “I’d say he was the intended target.”

The suspect’s body was found lying next to a car in a bank drive-thru, and a man in the vehicle has been taken into custody by Steubenville police. The identities of the men have not been released, but Mavromatis said both had criminal records and “one may have” appeared before Bruzzese.

In a brief update on its Facebook page, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said the courthouse would remain closed until further notice.

Bruzzese is a Court of Common Pleas judge, according to the Jefferson County Courthouse website. He is listed as working in the General/Domestic Relations Division of the court since 1998, according to Ballotpedia.

 

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