Ohio Judge Expected To Survive After Ambush By Gunman At Courthouse

Aug 21, 2017

An Ohio judge is in the hospital after being ambushed by a gunman while walking to work at the Jefferson County courthouse in Steubenville on Monday morning. 

Though Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. was injured by the bullets, he managed to fire back before a probation officer ultimately killed the suspect.

Authorities say the deceased gunman was Nathaniel Richmond, 51, the father of one of the Steubenville High School football players convicted of rape in 2013. According to the Associated Press, Bruzzese was overseeing a wrongful death case that Richmond filed against a housing authority, over a fire that killed Richmond's mother and a toddler.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla says courthouse video shows firing about five shots at Richmond, who also fired about five shots. A second person was taken into custody after Richmond was killed.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says Steubenville police requested help from Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation, which has placed its special investigations, crime scene and cyber units on the case.

Jefferson County juvenile and probate Judge Joseph Corabi says the attack had to be intended, because people know where judges park, in reserved spots next to the courthouse.

On Monday afternoon, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor called the attack was a "cowardly ambush." She says it's a reminder of the real potential for violence against judges, and urged court employees to take extra precautions in personal and professional activities.

O'Connor calls violence against judges an attack on the rule of law, which is the foundation of the country.

The 65-year-old judge underwent surgery at a Pittsburgh hospital. Gov. John Kasich says he's been told the judge is expected to survive.

Updated August 22, 12:25 p.m.