Berrien County Courthouse Shooter Was Facing Kidnapping & Sex-Assault Charges
The inmate who fatally shot two bailiffs, and injured two more people at the Berrien County Courthouse before he was killed in an escape attempt Monday, was facing sex assault charges carrying up to life in prison, WZZM-13 reports.
Larry Darnell Gordon, 44, of Coloma was charged in April with armed first-degree criminal sexual conduct, first-degree criminal sexual conduct during a felony, felony kidnapping, felony assault with a dangerous weapon, and misdemeanor aggravated domestic violence. He was booked into the Berrien County Jail on April 20, 2016.
Gordon took a gun from an officer who was escorting into court, shot bailiffs Joseph Zangaro and Ronald Kienzle, and tried to take hostages before he was killed, according to a news release from Berrien County Sheriff L. Paul Bailey. Sheriff's deputy James Atterberry Jr. and another individual were also injured.
In a press conference Tuesday morning, Sheriff Bailey revealed that Gordon was handcuffed during the entire ordeal, but was cuffed in the front, which allowed him to disarm the Zangaro and shoot both him and Kienzle before going out into a hallway and shooting Atterberry and a woman named Kenya Ellis. He called the bailiffs "heroes" for running to where they heard gunfire.
The Berrien County Courthouse will reopen on Wednesday with additional officers on staff and grief counselors available to employees.