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3 dead in Delaware courthouse shooting

Published On: Feb 11 2013 08:08:53 AM CST
Updated On: Feb 11 2013 10:51:13 AM CST
Wilmington, DE courthouse
WILMINGTON, Del. -

Three people are dead, including a gunman who opened fire in a courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware, Monday morning, Delaware State Police said.

Two Capitol Police officers were wounded in the gunfight in the lobby of the New Castle County Courthouse around 8 a.m., said State Police Sgt. Paul Shavack.

Investigators say the man entered the lobby, pulled out a gun and began shooting.

News reports said the gunman's estranged wife was among the victims, but Shavack said he could not confirm that a family member was involved.

Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams has told reporters that police killed the gunman.

Jose Beltran, a Court of Common Pleas worker, told the News Journal in Wilmington that he was walking into the courthouse lobby when he heard shots.

"I saw two shots," he said. "I saw people going on the ground so I just made a U-turn and ran out of the building," he said. "After that I don't know what happened."

Thomas Warren told the newspaper that as he approached the courthouse entrance to report for jury duty, he saw what appeared to be the body of a man lying on his stomach.

Local and federal authorities, including agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, responded.

The courthouse was evacuated and police were doing a floor-by-floor search of the 12-story building to make sure there was only the single gunman and there were no more threats, Shavack said.

The shooting came on the day the police chief of Wilmington was scheduled to be in Philadelphia to attend a roundtable discussion about gun safety. Vice President Joe Biden, law enforcement officials and members of Congress were expected to be there.