Locals react to fatal courthouse shooting in Michigan


DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Two Michigan bailiffs were shot and killed during an inmate transfer Monday afternoon. It happened at the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph.

According to authorities the suspect was 44-year-old Larry Gordon. He got into a fight with a deputy escorting him to a hearing.

Gordon took the deputy’s gun and started firing, killing two deputies and injuring another and a civilian. He was killed by other officers.

The bailiffs killed have been identified as 61-year-old Joseph Zangaro and 63-year-old Ronald Kienzle.

Zangara was head of courthouse security and had been with the court since 2004.

Kienzle was an Army veteran who’d been with the court since 2005.

This incident brings back memories for some Miami Valley residents when one man walked into the Dayton-Montgomery County Courts building, and took a gun from a deputy in the lobby.

It happened nearly 14 years ago. Only the gunman, 34-year-old Keshia Newell, was killed by officer’s gunfire.

Newell also injured Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Wright. He was shot in the leg that Fall day in 2002.

Scott Dwillis, who lives in Dayton and says enough’s enough after fatal shootings seem to be happening more often across the country.

“I believe in a peaceful society. There’s good people out here. There’s good people in the courtroom, there’s good people in the police field and you can’t judge the whole bunch by some of the crimes that have gone on,” Dwillis said.

Rufus Davis, who also lives in Dayton agrees.

“Stuff like that shouldn’t happen. It shouldn’t be allowed to happen. I don’t know what you could do about it,” Davis said.

Deputy Matthew Wright continues to serve and protect with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office.

In December of 2013 he was given the Deputy of the Month award by Sheriff Plummer.

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