Man on trial on criminal charges kills one and injures his daughter and others outside Texas courthouse


Bartholmew Granger, a man on trial in criminal court with family members opened fire outside a Southeast Texas courthouse on March 14, 2012, killing one person and wounding his daughter and at least two others.  The daughter had just testified against her father.

The gunman also was injured in the incident outside the Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont, about 80 miles east of Houston, and has been hospitalized, Beaumont Police Officer Doug Kibodeaux said.

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) — A man charged in the fatal shooting of a bystander outside a Texas courthouse, sparking a shootout with law enforcement and a brief hostage situation, was ordered held on $4 million bond Thursday.

Bartholomew Granger, 41, was also accused of wounding three other people in the incident Wednesday, including his daughter whom authorities said he ran over with a pickup truck as he tried to flee the scene.

Granger, who was on trial at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont in a separate criminal case, is now charged with one count of murder. Beaumont lies about 80 miles east of Houston.

The woman killed, Minnie Ray Seabolt, 79, of Deweyville, Texas, appeared to be an innocent bystander, Jefferson County Sheriff Mitch Woods said. Granger’s daughter was still in critical condition Thursday, authorities said. His daughter’s mother and the third person injured were treated at the hospital and released.

Authorities said Granger was outside the courthouse awaiting the continuation of his criminal trial Wednesday when he grabbed a gun from his truck and opened fire. Seabolt was shot as she tried to run to the courthouse, while others dropped to the ground and law enforcement officers returned fire.

“It was crazy,” said Beaumont Police Chief Jimmy Singletary. “He was shooting. Our guys were shooting.”

Judge Larry Gist, whose office is across the street from the main courthouse building, said there was “pandemonium” as law enforcement flooded the scene.

Police said Granger fired more shots from his truck then ran over his daughter as he drove away. He abandoned the truck in the middle of the street about three blocks away and took several people hostage at a construction business.

Granger told police by phone that he was wounded. He eventually surrendered and was taken to the hospital. Authorities said some of the hostages were able to help disarm Granger and let SWAT team officers into the building, the Beaumont Enterprise reported.

Rife Kimler, Granger’s attorney, said his client’s 20-year-old daughter had testified against Granger on Tuesday in what was an emotional family dispute, but that he had thought the trial was going reasonably well.

“I didn’t have him on my list of dangerous ones,” Kimler said of Granger.

In a separate civil case related to the criminal trial this week, Granger sued the cities of Beaumont and Houston, their police departments and the two surrounding counties complaining of an “unprovoked brutal attack” against his family.

A federal judge dismissed the civil suit in December.

Attribution: http://news.yahoo.com/texas-courthouse-shooting-suspect-held-4m-bond-152110112.html

Kibodeaux would not say why the suspect came to the courthouse with his family Wednesday morning, but said the man opened fire and shot several rounds in front of the building. Three people were wounded, Kibodeaux said. One of the victims was further injured when the suspect hit her with his truck while trying to escape, he said.

“It was pandemonium,” Judge Larry Gist, whose office is across the street from the main courthouse building, said as he described how law enforcement flooded the scene as soon as the shots rang out.

The suspect drove three to four blocks away before abandoning his truck in the middle of the street, Kibodeaux said.

Ricky Gandy said he went to the window of his office at LJA Engineering, which overlooks the parking lot next to the Beaumont Police department, after hearing a “pop, pop, pop.”

He saw police shooting at a pickup truck as it came out of the parking lot, but the driver “never really got in a hurry.”

“Once it started, it was kind of like the Fourth of July,” Gandy added. “Several shots, I imagine, I’m guessing at least 30 shots all together.”

The suspect was arrested a short time later, but has not been formally charged, Kibodeaux said.


Associated Press writer Nomaan Merchant in Dallas contributed to this report.

Attribution: http://news.yahoo.com/1-dead-3-wounded-gunfire-near-texas-courthouse-174003542.html

This is the second courthouse shooting to happen in the past week. On March 7, a shooting outside the Tulsa County Courthouse in Oklahoma left one deputy and three others injured. A barefoot man went to the courthouse plaza and began shooting randomly.

William M. Windsor

I, William M. Windsor, am not an attorney.  This website expresses my OPINIONS.   The comments of visitors or guest authors to the website are their opinions and do not therefore reflect my opinions.  Anyone mentioned by name in any article is welcome to file a response.   This website does not provide legal advice.  I do not give legal advice.  I do not practice law.  This website is to expose government corruption, law enforcement corruption, political corruption, and judicial corruption.   Whatever this website says about the law is presented in the context of how I or others perceive the applicability of the law to a set of circumstances if I (or some other author) was in the circumstances under the conditions discussed.  Despite my concerns about lawyers in general, I suggest that anyone with legal questions consult an attorney for an answer, particularly after reading anything on this website.  The law is a gray area at best.  Please read our Legal Notice and Terms.

{jcomments on}


Leave a Reply