Courthouse Shooter Was Cuffed, Sheriff Says

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     ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (CN) — The inmate who killed two Michigan court bailiffs after wresting away an officer’s gun was handcuffed at the time, the local sheriff said Tuesday.
     Contradicting the statement he gave after the deadly scuffle Monday, Sheriff Paul Bailey said inmate Larry Darnell Gordon had his hands cuffed in front of him.
     The shooting at the Berrien County Courthouse took place around 2:25 p.m. Monday afternoon, as deputy sheriff James Atterberry Jr. and a bailiff escorted Gordon from a holding cell to a courtroom.
     Gordon, who was in custody on charges of criminal sexual conduct, is said to have attacked Atterberry in a hallway on the way to the courtroom, wresting control of the deputy’s gun.
     After shooting Atterberry in the arm, Gordon then shot and killed court bailiffs Joe Zangaro, 61, and Ronald Kienzle, 63.
     Sheriff Bailey said Gordon then went into the back area of a courtroom and took several hostages from among court personnel and civilians who were in the immediate vicinity.
     The hostage situation lasted approximately five minutes before two other court bailiffs shot and killed Gordon.
     A civilian caught in the fray was shot as well but survived.
     Bailey had explained Monday that the decision to handcuffs detainees is made on a case-by-case basis.
     Although being held on several felony charges, Gordon “gave no indication of violence while in jail,” Bailey said Monday.
     Zangaro and Kienzle were 30-year law-enforcement veterans. Zangaro was head of courthouse security.
     Gordon was a 45-year-old white man from nearby Coloma, Michigan.
     Bailey described Zangaro and Kienzle as “loving guys” who were well-respected.
     Speaking for all county officers, Bradley said, “Our hearts are torn apart.”
     Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder traveled to St. Joseph in the aftermath of the shootings and urged all Michiganders to “be supportive of law enforcement [officers] and their families.”
     Berrien County sits on the southwestern corner of Michigan, at the Indiana border.