Ohio Judge Wounded in Gunfire Exchange Outside Courthouse

Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville, Ohio. Image-Google Maps
Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville, Ohio. Image-Google Maps

A gunman opened fire on a Jefferson County, Ohio judge as he was arriving early to work on Monday morning, wounding him, but gunman himself was gunned down after return fire from the judge and a probation officer at the court building.

Authorities say that they believe that the shooting of 65-year-old Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr, who handles general and domestic relations cases, was intentional and that the gunman was in the parking area near the courthouse that is reserved for judges. Authorities have yet to ascertain the reason for the ambush.

But it is known that the suspect, who was identified as Nathaniel “Nate” Richmond. Richmond years ago had convictions of Domestic Violence and Assault, and had a recent connection with the judge as Judge Bruzzese  was overseeing a wrongful death suit filed by Richmond. A hearing to dismiss the punitive damages claim against the Jefferson County Metropolitan Housing Authority by Richmond was set for later this month.

According to the report, video from the courthouse showed Judge Bruzzese and the gunman exchange five shots each before a court probation officer stepped in and took down the gunman.

The  judge, who was conscious and talking, was air-medevaced to Pittsburgh 30 miles to east of Steubenville.

The state crime lab in Ohio will assist in the investigation. The courthouse was closed down for the day as a result of the incident.[xyz-ihs snippet=”Adsense-responsive”]