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5 Shot at Delaware Courthouse, Shooter Killed

10:07 AM, Feb 11, 2013   |    comments
Damian Giletto/The Delaware News Journal
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Damian Giletto, Cris Barrish and Sean O'Sullivan, The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal

WILMINGTON, Del. -- Five people were shot when a gunman opened fire at the New Castle County Courthouse here Monday morning, state police said. One of the wounded was a Capitol Police officer.

The shooter was killed by Capitol Police officers, according to state police spokesman Sgt. Paul Shavack. The shooter was in his late 20s to early 30s Police are still trying to determine to determine his identity.

The shooting began around 8 a.m. when the gunman was stopped by security at a security checkpoint inside the front door.

Ferris Wharton, a public defender and former chief deputy attorney general, said an employee of his office reported that he saw a woman who appeared to be dead in the lobby. The employee also saw bullet holes in the window by the revolving door of courthouse that is adjacent to the parking garage. Shell casings littered the ground, the employee said, according to Wharton.

"I don't know what to say,'' said Wharton, who has worked in the Wilmington courthouses for three decades. "I've never heard of anything like this happening in Delaware. It's a wild situation.''

Sandra Autman, deputy New Castle County prothonotary, says she and several other "hysterical staff" are holed up in their mezzanine office, one level below the lobby. She said employees heard at least five shots and reports that the gunman came into the lobby shooting.

She said employees reported to her that at least one person was shot.

Dozens of police cars are in the area, and streets are cordoned off for several blocks around the courthouse. Multiple ambulances and firetrucks also are on the scene.

Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams reported the shooter had been killed. Police at the scene have thus far declined to release any information.

Sandra Autman, deputy New Castle County prothonotary, says she and several other "hysterical staff" are holed up in their mezzanine office, one level below the lobby. She said employees heard at least five shots and reports that the gunman came into the lobby shooting.

She said employees reported to her that at least one person was shot.

Dozens of police cars are in the area, and streets are cordoned off for several blocks around the courthouse. Multiple ambulances and firetrucks also are on the scene.

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