A judge in Ohio was the victim of a brutal ambush yesterday on the steps of his courthouse, but because he was carrying concealed, he lived and his assailant did not.
Judge Joseph Bruzzese was walking into the courthouse in Steubenville when a man walked up to him and shot him several times at close range shorty after 8 a.m., according to this story from ABC News.
The Bruzzese was able to draw a concealed handgun and returned fire, while a nearby probation officer also returned fire.
Bruzzese is in stable condition and expected to survive, the story says.
The suspect, identified as Nathaniel Richmond, was killed in the exchange of gunfire. The story says he is the father of Ma’lik Richmond, one of two Steubenville High School football players convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party in 2012, but Bruzzese did not preside over that case. Ma’lik served 10 months in a juvenile facility before he was released.
Jefferson County prosecuting attorney Jane Hanlin said in the story that “there is no reason to believe there there is any connection between Ma’lik Richmond’s case and this shooting,” however the two were not strangers.
The story says there were a number of cases involving Richmond in Bruzzese’s courtroom.
“Whether there is a connection between any prior appearances and today’s action, we don’t know the answer to that,” said Hanlin in the story.
The story says Richmond waited for Bruzzese in a car with a passenger. That individual did not leave the vehicle during the attack and is in custody and being questioned by police.
This story from outdoorhub.com says Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said that Bruzzese is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He also said he encourage Bruzzese to carry a firearm to “protect himself from all the nutcases around the country.”