• Judge shot at Ohio courthouse was presiding over case involving suspect


    A judge shot at an Ohio courthouse was presiding over a civil case involving the suspect.

    Police identified the man who opened fire on a Steubenville judge Monday morning as Nathaniel Richmond.

    Officials say Judge Joseph Bruzzese was armed and returned fire, as did a probation officer. Richmond was killed. 

    Bruzzese was overseeing a wrongful death case Richmond had filed against a housing authority after a fire killed his mother and great-nephew.

    According to the The Associated Press, Richmond was stopped several hours before the shooting for driving with a faulty headlight.


    "I heard approximately seven or eight gunshots," said Cody Allison, who saw the chaos.

    It's unclear if a bullet from the judge or the probation officer killed the suspect.

    Bruzzese is recovering at UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh.

    There is surveillance video of the incident, but the Jefferson County prosecutor said it won't be released until the prosecutor's investigation is complete.

    Channel 11 learned there are possible threats of retaliation against the probation officer who shot at the suspect.

    "It just hurts. First thing on a Monday morning, you have a judge shot in front of his courthouse, and that affected me,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla. "For people to say they're going to retaliate upsets me. This was an ambush and attempted murder on our judge."

    Even for those who see tragedy on a regular basis, this situation felt different.


    Investigators say Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr. was ambushed while walking into the Jefferson County Courthouse around 8 a.m. Monday.

    The Jefferson County Courthouse remained closed Tuesday.

    "There are a number of cases involving Mr. Richmond over a number of years in this judge's courtroom and other judges' courtrooms,” said Jane Hanlin, district attorney for Jefferson County.

    Richmond is the father of Youngstown State University football player Ma'lik Richmond. The former Steubenville High School football star was found guilty of rape in 2013. A petition circulated at YSU, which resulted in him being benched for a year because of his past.

    At this point, authorities are not releasing any potential motive in the case.

    "There's absolutely no reason to believe there's any connection between Ma'lik Richmond and the actions of his father today," Hanlin said.

    Bruzzese did not work on that case, but was overseeing a wrongful death lawsuit Richmond filed against the local housing authority. A motion to dismiss some of those claims was set for next Monday.

    There was a second suspect in the case -- a man who was in Richmond's car when he shot the judge.

    Investigators say they're holding him for questioning, but have not filed any charges. He told police he had no idea Richmond had plans to ambush anyone.

    If no charges are filed against the man within 72 hours, he must be released.



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