MI courthouse shooter handcuffed in front, protocol to be reviewed

Berrien County sits on the southwestern corner of MI, at the IN border.

Speaking for all county officers, Bradley said, "Our hearts are torn apart".

Sheriff Paul Bailey says Gordon's hands were cuffed in front when he disarmed Deputy James Atterberry Jr. during a fight. "It's just sad. I don't know what's going on".

A MI sheriff says all indications are that the inmate who fatally shot two bailiffs at a courthouse was trying to break out of custody. Police have not named the female civilian who was also injured.

Initially, authorities gave wrong information about the suspect not being handcuffed, something Bailey admitted to Tuesday morning.

Experts said attention on courthouse security has intensified since 2005, when a man overpowered a deputy who was releasing his cuffs to escort him to an Atlanta courtroom for his rape trial, took her gun and fatally shot the presiding judge and court reporter and then killed a sheriff's deputy outside the building.

ABC reports at least three people are dead, two of them bailiffs and one being the suspect.

According to Bailey, 44-year-old Larry Gordon was handcuffed in the front throughout the entire incident.

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Jessica Gordon told WOOD-TV that officers and a chaplain came to her house to tell her about her ex-husband. Two court bailiffs, as well as their attacker were killed and a deputy had been shot in the left arm and finger. "I've known them over 30 years".

"Since Sheriff Silver has been here, we took over the security, and we have steadily added to the staffing since then", he said.

Bailey said the shooting happened on the third floor of the courthouse.

Gov. Rick Snyder cut short a visit to Midland and traveled across the state to St. Joseph to meet with investigators and victims' families.

MSP has secured the scene at the Berrien County courthouse and started its investigation into the shooting that occurred this afternoon. In a Facebook post Monday night, Merri McGregor recalled her first day as a Detroit police officer at age 21 and the next 17 years of "a whole lot of heartache" on the job. This is a particularly tough time for law enforcement. "So I ask that everyone reach out and try to be as supportive of law enforcement across the state and across the country as possible in a hard case like this".

Marcus Muhammad, mayor of nearby Benton Harbor, said that the shooting "was a reminder that tragedy can strike anywhere at any time".

"We make sure that our staff is aware of things like what happened in MI because we believe that keeps them alert that things could happen here", he said. "This is a bad event to have happen, and we need to rally together".

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