Two court bailiffs were killed and a deputy sheriff shot Monday inside a southwestern Michigan courthouse when an inmate broke loose and got his hands on an officer’s gun, officials said. Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey said the gunman, whose identity was not immediately available, was killed by responding police. “Brave officers” took down the shooter, he said.
Bailey told reporters the inmate was being moved from a holding cell on the third floor of the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph when he “started fighting” with the deputy and bailiff and he disarmed an officer around 2:30 p.m. local time.
The armed inmate then ran into a hallway, where he shot a civilian in the arm before he was shot dead by responding officers. Bailey said the two bailiffs who were killed had worked at the courthouse for “at least 10 years.” “We need prayers and the families need your prayers especially,” he told reporters.
The incident occurred just days after five Dallas police officers were killed by a sniper, and amid a wave of violence and threats against law enforcement officers around the country.
Bailey said the deputy sheriff and civilian who were shot are in stable condition at Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph, Mich. A post on the Berrien County Sheriff’s Facebook page said the officer was shot in left arm and finger.
An official from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told Fox News that agents from the agency’s Detroit Division are en route to the shooting scene at the courthouse.
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