Judge shot outside Ohio courthouse returns fire; suspect killed

A man who shot a judge in an “ambush-style” attack outside an Ohio courthouse was killed when the judge and a probation officer returned fire, authorities said Monday.

Common Pleas Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. was shot about 8 a.m. outside the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville, about 40 miles west of Pittsburgh, Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said. The judge was hospitalized but his condition not released.

After reviewing video of the shooting, Abdalla said he believes the assault was a deliberate attack on the judge.

“This was cold blooded, attempted murder on a judge,” he said.

Suspect’s son convicted in high-profile rape case

Steubenville City Manager Jim Mavromatis identified the suspect as Nate Richmond. Richmond’s son, Ma’lik Richmond, was convicted in a 2013 Steubenville rape case that garnered national attention.

Mavromatis said Bruzzese did not preside over the rape case. Authorities have not commented on a possible motive.

Richmond’s son, then a high school football player, was sentenced in 2013 to a minimum of one year in a juvenile correction facility.

Nate Richmond is a plaintiff along with several others in a wrongful death case overseen by Bruzzese, according to public court records.

CNN has not been able to get details of that case, which lists the defendant as the Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority.

There is no known connection between the elder Richmond’s case and his son’s case.

Judge returned fire

Abdalla said it appears the suspect walked up to the judge as he approached the courthouse and shot him several times in the stomach at point-blank range.

The judge was carrying a weapon and returned fire, as did a probation officer on the scene, Abdalla said.

“If there wasn’t a probation officer, this gentleman would have kept shooting until he killed the judge,” the sheriff said.

Abdalla said shooter was hit three times.

Once the bullet slugs are removed from the suspect’s body, it will be determined if the judge or the officer hit the suspect, Abdalla said.

Abdalla said he had urged the judge to carry a gun.

“If you’re sitting on the bench you have to carry a gun because there are so many nutcases out there that want retaliation,” he said.

Another person was hit by a ricochet bullet and was in the suspected getaway vehicle, the sheriff said. No charges have been filed against that person.

One person was being flown by medical helicopter to a Pittsburgh-area hospital, according to Steubenville Fire Chief Carlo Capaldi. He would not disclose the person’s identity.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation at the Ohio attorney general’s office is investigating the shooting.

“Fran and I are praying for Judge Bruzzese and his family at this difficult time,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said, referring to his wife.

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13 thoughts on “Judge shot outside Ohio courthouse returns fire; suspect killed

  1. Dieselrider

    All repetitious dogma of the liberal agenda. All repeated as facts again and again with as many studies pointing the other way.
    Freedom for others to carry is really bothering to you isn’t it? You are just a spoiled child wanting your own way and you can’t have it. You would take away others rights to further what you want. Not happening in this country, pal.

    • Qualia

      You need to keep away from those right wing propaganda sites DR, they make you mean you know? I don’t care if people carry, I object to people being frightened into carrying, I think that’s been pretty clear from the beginning. You once again lose your cool and resort to insults and start misapplying stereotype to me when you’re frustrated, I think that was one of the items quoted.
      I chose to not own a gun, my right, people goaded into getting a gun by lies and fear mongering is dangerous to everyone. The data I quoted is backed up by facts and figures but the right has done everything they can to prevent the gathering of those statistics, why? I think it’s because the statistics would prove them wrong and they know it.

      • Dieselrider

        I called you a spoiled child because that is what you are acting like. Other than that my last response to you is almost exactly word for word like a response you made to me months ago when I gave you all kinds of facts and figures showing that gun ownership and citizen carry permits do indeed cut down on crime and that where more guns are present crime is down.

        You are a typical liberal. When you use certain verbiage, you expect it to be accepted but, if the opposing view uses it you get butt hurt. You are way more like the children at Berkley or the BLM movement than you’d like to let on.

        You are also very contradictory in your stance: You have said before that gun ownership bothers you. Yet here you say you don’t have a problem with others carrying. You are a very conflicted individual.

        • Qualia

          I guess nuance is not your strong point, you don’t believe my facts, I don’t believe yours.

          My position has been and continues to be I’m against advocating that everyone own and carry a gun, I’m against using fear to goad people into buying a gun, I’m against the industries obvious efforts to boost gun sales by generating needless fear over the safety of owners that don’t know how to use a gun. I’m against carrying a gun simply because you can. You most likely think that means I’m against guns, it doesn’t.

          Even if I had changed my mind why would that be conflicted? It’s the intelligent man that can reconsider a position after deliberation, that is one difference between liberal and conservative, a liberal flows with the information input, going where it leads, a conservative stalls and rejects changing.

          I understand and empathize with BLM, you don’t so you say I’m “like” them because I have empathy, no idea where you’re going with “the children at Berkley”.

          I seriously don’t expect you to agree with anything I say so this is a discussion, there is no winner, there is no loser but it seems that macho side of you can’t resist making it a competition. I’m not in competition with you. I’m merely expressing my opinion and beliefs as you are, I hope to learn something from that exchange at some point.

    • Qualia

      “If you’re sitting on the bench you have to carry a gun because there are so many nutcases out there that want retaliation,” he said.

      It makes sense, if there is a reason other than simple paranoia.

      Over 60 years no gun, still alive.

      • Dieselrider

        Your illogical response doesn’t hold water. Thousands of judges have lived their whole life and never carried a gun either. Thousands of cops have lived their whole career and never had to draw their gun in the line of duty. But, many thousands of ordinary citizens are dead because they didn’ carry any weapon.. You may be lucky for many years and then one day…. not so much. The bot scout motto is “Be prepared”, not “just count on good fortune”

        It is your choice, just as theirs is theirs and mine is mine. Freedom is a wonderful thing.

        • Qualia

          And many thousands are dead because they did carry a gun. Many thousands are dead because they didn’t know how to use a gun, many thousands of innocents are dead because someone had a gun. It has nothing to do with “luck” it has to do with living smart and being aware.
          As the quote I made from the article says “If you’re sitting on the bench you have to carry a gun because there are so many nutcases out there that want retaliation”, that’s more of a reason to “carry” than being frightened by words like yours. I’m not sure what the boy scouts have to do with this.
          “The whole gun debate needs to be infused with a discussion about manhood. It’s frustrating to hear debates about gun rights vs. gun control, and yet very few people say what’s hidden in plain sight: It’s really a contest of meanings about manhood” J Katz
          I choose to be free of the false security that is a gun. Q. If there ever is a case for my requiring a gun for my protection it will be because those that have chosen to carry guns are using them for suppression of political difference.

          • Dieselrider

            Not a question of “manhood” at all. I truly believe every woman should carry a gun as well.
            The only point you make that makes any sense is that everyone should learn how to use firearms safely. The rest is pure BS.

            To be prepared for what might happen is not fear. It is being prepared. That is where the boy scout motto comes in. Something everyone should have been taught as a child and a lesson one should never forget in adulthood.

          • Qualia

            Then why not body armor if you really want to be prepared.

            It is a manhood rite, the first BB gun, the first rifle, the first hunt all rights of passage for a young male. Pressure on young men to join the “club”, It’s called precarious manhood “It’s precarious because it can be easily lost – especially if the man fails to measure up to the relentless challenges that life throws at him, be they tests of physical bravery, or competition with other men for respect and status”, tell me you don’t have more respect for a man with a gun than one who rejects guns. Just saying you would like all women to have guns does not remove it from being a primarily male accessory. Tell me why most mass killings are done by young white males decked out in a power trip of blazing guns. Being prepared is fine as long as what you’re preparing for is likely, the danger you are prepared for in my opinion is a fabricated danger sustained more by myth and stereotype then anything else.

            “Various studies suggest that being armed increases your chances of getting into a confrontation.
            • Nine percent of Americans report signs of “impulsive angry behavior” (such as breaking things and getting into fights)—and say they own a gun.

            • Drivers who carry guns are 44 percent more likely than unarmed drivers to make obscene gestures at other motorists, and 77 percent more likely to follow them aggressively.
            • Among Texans convicted of serious crimes, those with concealed-handgun licenses were sentenced for threatening someone with a firearm 4.8 times more than those without.
            • In states with Stand Your Ground and other laws making it easier to shoot in self-defense, those policies have been linked to a 7 to 10 percent increase in homicides.”
            “Owning a gun has been linked to higher risks of homicide, suicide, and accidental death by gun.
            • For every time a gun is used in self-defense in the home, there are 7 assaults or murders, 11 suicide attempts, and 4 accidents involving guns in or around a home.
            • 43 percent of homes with guns and kids have at least one unlocked firearm.
            • In one experiment, one third of 8-to-12-year-old boys who found a handgun pulled the trigger.”
            “In 2014, according to FBI data, nearly eight times more people were shot and killed in arguments than by civilians trying to stop a crime.
            • In one survey, nearly 1 percent of Americans reported using guns to defend themselves or their property. However, a closer look at these claims found that more than half involved using guns in an aggressive manner, such as escalating an argument.
            • A study in Philadelphia found that the odds of an assault victim being shot were 4.5 times greater if he carried a gun. His odds of being killed were 4.2 times greater.”

          • Dieselrider

            A blind man wants nothing more than to see, and a man with sight would never choose to be blind. So, why in hell would a conservative ever change his stand? He already sees and understands.
            Likewise a liberal is likely to change his mind if he ever opens his eyes and can see clearly. Until then he is tossed to and fro by the changing wind of doctrine with no clear vision or thought. Perhaps there is hope for you, perhaps not.

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