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3 dead in courthouse shooting in Delaware

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 11, 2013 at 7:37 pm •  Published: February 11, 2013

"Absolutely," he said. "It's right what he went after when he come in the door. That's exactly what he did instantly."

Chinski said that before the shooting, he shared an elevator with the gunman and others from the parking garage. The gunman was quiet and did not appear agitated, he said.

Heriot, a plaintiff in a court case that was to be heard this week, said after the two women were shot, there was an exchange of gunfire, then a lull, during which time he believes the shooter may have been putting a new clip in his gun.

"I could smell the gunpowder in the air," Heriot said. After the shooting stopped, he knelt down beside the first woman who was shot.

"I turned her over and unbuttoned her coat. I saw a single bullet hole in the center of her chest," he said. "I held her hand, told her it was going to be all right. Her pupils dilated. She turned pale and passed away."

Authorities said Monday evening that autopsies had been completed on the two female victims, but they were withholding their names while family members were notified.

After the shooting, police searched the courthouse room by room as a precaution. Streets around the courthouse remained cordoned off Monday night. Officials said the courthouse would remain closed Tuesday while repairs were made and authorities continued their investigation.

Diana Dorn, who lives right behind the courthouse, said she heard the shooting from her bedroom window.

"You could hear it really clear. It was like pow, pow, pow, pow," she said. "That's normal in my neighborhood with the drug dealers and everything."

In response to the shooting, Democratic Gov. Jack Markell's office said he would return early from a trade mission to India.

"While this shooting is notable for the fact that it took place inside a state courthouse, there are some aspects of this incident that are, unfortunately, all too common," Markell said in a statement. "I am saddened that two more brave members of our law enforcement community have been injured in the line of duty. I am also saddened that this appears to be another example of a domestic situation that turned deadly."


Associated Press writers Maryclaire Dale and Brett Zongker in Wilmington and Jessica Gresko in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.