Berrien County courthouse shooter was handcuffed during attack
BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WJBK) - New details starting to come out surrounding the Berrien County courthouse shooting Monday afternoon.
We've learned the inmate was wearing handcuffs when he somehow grabbed the gun from the deputy and we are learning more about the victims themselves.
Hundreds stood in silence marking the exact moment when 24 hours earlier chaos erupted on the third floor of the Berrien County courthouse.
On Monday afternoon handcuffed inmate Larry Gordon stole a deputy's gun and started shooting during a seemingly routine prisoner transfer.
"This inmate who wanted to break out was able to overpower our deputy and take his weapon," said Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey.
In doing so, he killed two bailiffs - Joseph Zangaro and Ron Kienzle.
"My heart just sank," said Cindy Golladay. "When you hear about it and hope that it's not him and find out that it is."
Cindy went to school with Ron Kienzle, calling him a gentle giant. Sherriff Paul bailey considers both men friends.
"They were two great individuals that have served law enforcement for many years," Bailey said. "They were loving husbands and fathers and we are mourning their deaths this morning."
Their deaths, according to the sheriff comes at the hands of Larry Gordon, who according to his family was trying to break out of jail to see his six kids.
He stole the gun from Deputy James Atterberry Jr., who was shot in the hand and arm but is expected to fully recover.
"Nothing short of a miracle, the gunman was trying to kill him first," said Bishop James Atterberry, Sr. "(He) shot point-blank maybe four or five times."
Gordon is said to have shot and injured a woman who is yet to be identified, before being shot fatally by two bailiffs who rushed towards the sound of gunshots.
"Those bailiffs were heroes along with everyone else who rushed in to help," said Bailey. "This could have been a lot worse without those who were so brave. to go into the gunfire and take this person down."
And with those in mind, a crowd of hundreds walk side by side to remember each heroic deed that was done on the third floor of that courthouse.
That walk was to a police memorial a few blocks away where a prayer service was held - just a sample of the support felt here.
Sheriff Bailey says he's had hundreds of emails, phone calls and text messages. And all he asks in return is prayer.