Ohio judge ambushed outside of courthouse; Suspect dead
By Jennifer Cruz
Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese was shot early Monday morning as he walked from his car to the courthouse. (Photo: AP)
A Monday morning exchange of gunfire outside of the Jefferson County courthouse in Steubenville, Ohio, left a judge injured and the suspect who shot him dead.
Although the motive isn’t clear at this point, investigators think the judge was targeted.
Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor called the attack a “cowardly ambush.” She said it shows that the potential for violence against judges is very real. She also urged judges and other court personnel to take extra safety precautions.
“Violence against judges represents an attack on the Rule of Law, the foundation of our country,” O’Connor added.
According to local reports, Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese, Jr. was walking to the courthouse from his car just after 8 a.m. when the suspect ran up to him and opened fire. Bruzzese was struck multiple times. However, the judge was carrying a concealed handgun at the time and returned fire. A nearby armed probation officer also caught wind of the situation and shot the suspect. It’s unclear if both the officer and Bruzese struck the suspect.
Bruzzese was airlifted to the University of Pittsburgh Medical