KAUFMAN, Texas (AP) — Authorities don't know whether a Texas prosecutor who had extensive experience with organized crime feared for his life before he was fatally shot, but they're poring through the cases he handled for leads to his killer, officials said Friday.
No arrests have been made since Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was gunned down Thursday morning in a parking lot about a block from his office at the Kaufman County Courthouse. Authorities are searching for one or two suspects. Witnesses have said the killer was dressed in black with facial features covered.
Kaufman police Chief Chris Aulbaugh said there's no indication that Hasse, 57, had been afraid he might be killed and, although the prosecutor was a licensed peace officer, officials refused to say whether he was carrying a weapon.
"We are reviewing Mr. Hasse's cases and following up on any leads that would give us rise for a person of interest," Aulbaugh said. In addition to local authorities, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the case.
That could be a daunting task. Hasse joined the Kaufman County district attorney's office three years ago and previously worked in the Dallas County district attorney's office.
Hasse was chief of the organized crime unit when he was an assistant prosecutor in Dallas County in the 1980s, and he handled similar cases in Kaufman County, 33 miles southeast of Dallas.
Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland said Hasse was one of 12 attorneys on his staff, all of whom handle hundreds of cases at a time.
"Anything anybody can think of, we're looking through," McLelland said.
In recent years, Hasse played major roles in Kaufman County's most high-profile cases, including one in which a justice of the peace was convicted on theft and burglary charges and another in which a man was convicted of killing his former girlfriend and her 10-year-old daughter.