(Photo Courtesy of NewsWorks/WHYY)
Three people are dead and two officers are injured after a shooting in the lobby of the New Castle County Court of Common Pleas in Delaware.
Two women and the gunman are deceased while two capital officers are injured, according to Delaware State Police. The shooting occurred around 8:00 a.m., on Monday morning in the public lobby of the courthouse, located at 500 N King Street in Wilmington, Del. The gunman did not get pass the perimeter area where normal security was set up in the courthouse.
The gunman was identified as a white male between 50- and 60-years-old, and was killed in the lobby, according to Sgt. Paul Shavack, director of Public Information for the Delaware State Police. "This was not a random shooting event and there is no connection to terrorism," Shavack said. "The courthouse shooting incident took place in the lobby area near the metal detectors where the gunman walked in and opened fire. The gunman exchanged gunfire with capital police. Multiple rounds were fired."
The capital police officers injured in the exchange of gunfire are said to have sustained non-life threatening gunshot wounds and are hospitalized in Christiana, Del. They are doing well according to William H. Jopp, Chief of the Delaware Capitol Police.
One of the officers was shot in the chest, according to a police dispatcher during a 911 call. The officer was wearing a bullet proof vest. One of the officers wounded is a 42-year-old male who has been with the department for seven years. The other wounded officer is a 50-year-old male who has been with the department for one year. Both officers had on protective vests according to the department.
There are at least 12 law enforcement agencies operating at the courthouse to secure the building and investigate the scene at this time. The agencies include the Delaware State Police, Wilmington Police Department, FBI and the Secret Service. The Delaware State Police Homicide Unit is the lead unit conducting investigation.
The agencies are going through the process of a systematic release of those who were in the building at the time of the courthouse shooting as they go floor to floor, room to room, searching for any other gunman in the 12 story building.
While another shooter is not suspected, law enforcement agencies are said to be following normal procedures for an active shooter.
Sgt. Shavack stated, "With any active shooter situation, we want to make sure that we identify and account for everyone in that building. We don't want to miss a piece of information that may be there and we don't want to miss a shooter that may be in that building. That's procedure."