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Man With Assault Rifle Opens Fire On Wheeling, WV Federal Courthouse

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Photo Credit: WTRF

Photo Credit: WTRF

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WHEELING, W.Va. (KDKA/AP) – Police say a retired police officer armed with two weapons fired up to two dozen shots at a U.S. courthouse in West Virginia before police returned fire and killed him.

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger identified the gunman in Wednesday afternoon’s shooting as 55-year-old Thomas J. Piccard of Bridgeport, Ohio. He is a retired Wheeling police officer.

At a news conference late Wednesday, Schwertfeger said Piccard was armed with an assault weapon and a handgun.

Three employees in the courthouse were slightly injured by shattered glass when he windows were shot out.

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger said at a news conference tonight that, “a motive is still the key investigative component.”

Chief deputy Mike Claxton of the Marshals Service in northern West Virginia said one officer was injured by shattered glass inside the courthouse but no other injuries were reported during the incident Wednesday afternoon.

Claxton said the gunman was located in a parking lot across from the courthouse in downtown Wheeling. He said officials are attempting to determine a motive.

The Department of Homeland Security is now investigating.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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