Bailiffs killed, deputy sheriff wounded in shooting at Berrien County courthouse

Two bailiffs were shot and killed Monday inside a southwestern Michigan courthouse before officers killed the gunman, a sheriff said.

The incident happened at the Berrien County Courthouse at about 2:30 p.m. Monday, police said at a press conference outside the building.

Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey said at a news conference late Monday afternoon that a deputy sheriff was also shot but is in stable condition at Lakeland Hospital in St. Joseph.

It is unclear how a suspect was able to become armed inside the courthouse to carry out the shooting.

Gov. Rick Snyder sent a tweet at about 3:30 that area was secured by police. 

According to resident Gretta Volkenstein who lives a block away and has friends in the building that "basically the whole city" was on lockdown.

She said bomb-sniffing dogs were brought into the building as investigators surrounded the scene.

Volkenstein is a social work student who lives a block away and was an intern with the Child Protective Services.

She said that medics were at the scene in the parking lot of the courthouse after the evacuation of most employees, although some she said, were in lockdown inside.

The shooting took place just after 2:30 p.m. Monday. Volkenstein said she had heard from people who work inside that it happened on the third floor.

Bailey said he did not know anything about the shooter, why he was in the courthouse or how he got a gun. Additional details, including information on how the shooting happened, weren't immediately available. 

The courthouse is in St. Joseph, about 25 miles south of South Haven.

This is a developing story. Check back for more details throughout the day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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