A judge was ambushed and shot Monday morning as he walked toward the Jefferson County Courthouse, and both the judge and a probation officer returned fire, fatally wounding the suspect, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A passenger in the suspect’s car has been questioned by police.
Steubenville City Manager James Mavromatis said that Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. was shot as he walked just outside the courthouse shortly after 8 a.m. The judge was armed and returned fire, firing at least five shots, according to Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla. A probation officer fired an unknown number of shots. And the suspect, identified as Nathaniel Richmond, fired five shots.
The Steubenville police, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s department and the FBI are investigating. The FBI is helping with the investigation, said Jefferson County prosecuting attorney Jane Hanlin, “because we asked them to.”
Mr. Richmond was hit three times by gunfire, the sheriff said. He is the father of Ma’lik Richmond, who was convicted in the 2012 rape of a 16-year-old girl from Weirton, W.Va. Ma’lik was a high school football player at the time. The case gained national attention because the victim was incapacitated and because pictures from the scene were circulated on social media.
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