W. Virginia Police Kill Ex-Cop Who Fired Shots at Courthouse

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Local law enforcement officers secure an area in front of the Federal Buildng in Wheeling, WV, Wedneday, Oct. 9, 2013, following a shooting outside the courthouse.

Updated 9:53 p.m.

Authorities killed a man armed with an assault-style rifle and handgun outside a federal courthouse in Wheeling, W. Va., on Wednesday afternoon.

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger identified the shooter as retired Wheeling policeman Thomas J. Piccard, 55, of Brdgetport, Ohio. Piccard fired 15 to 25 shots from a parking lot across from the federal building before security officers returned fire and killed him, according to state police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous.

Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie earlier said Piccard was a veteran of the local police force for more than 20 years and retired 13 years ago. Schwertfeger did not say whether Piccard used both weapons, but confirmed three security officers were injured by flying debris during the shootout.

Authorities have yet to determine a motive but are seeking a search warrant for the gunman’s home to determine if he acted alone. Police have also searched the four-door sedan and trailer Piccard drove from his Bridgeport residence.

[Associated Press]