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Gunman Shoots Two Federal Employees at Las Vegas Courthouse

Gunman Shoots Two Federal Employees at Las Vegas Courthouse

Government Executive Magazine

January 05, 2010

A gunman fatally shot one federal employee and wounded another at a Las Vegas federal courthouse before being killed by U.S. marshals on Monday morning.

The victims were a court security officer and a deputy U.S. marshal, who was listed in stable condition.

“I can receive no news more grim or sobering than word of a line-of-duty death or injury to our U.S. Marshals personnel,” U.S. Marshals Service Director John Clark said in a statement. “The brave and immediate actions of these two individuals saved lives by stopping the threat of a reckless and callous gunman who had no regard for who or how many victims were struck down by his senseless actions. They are heroes.”

A spokesman from the Federal Bureau of Investigation said that the shooting began around 8 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, as the work day began at Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse. The building also houses offices for Sens. Harry Reid and John Ensign, as well as commercial offices, and has been the site of numerous bankruptcy hearings.

Troy Saceal, a reporter for a local CNN affiliate station located in the courthouse, told the network that the shooting in the building’s lobby began as he arrived to work, and that he heard between 30 to 40 shots. A YouTube video, allegedly of the event, captured 45 shots, though it is unclear how many of those were fired by law enforcement personnel.

The victims included a 65-year-old court security officer, who was killed, and a 48-year-old deputy U.S. marshal who was hospitalized and expected to recover. The names of the victims and the shooter have not been released. The FBI said the motive for the shooting was unclear.

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