Marshals: Gunman fires at US courthouse in W.Va.

Associated Press

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — The U.S. Marshals Service says a man who they believe was armed with an assault-type rifle fired up to two dozen rounds at the federal court building in a West Virginia city on Wednesday before security officers returned fire, critically wounding the gunman.

One security officer within the Wheeling Federal Building was injured by flying debris, but there were no other injuries, said Chief Deputy Mike Claxton of the Marshals Service in northern West Virginia.

The gunman, whose name was not released, was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, Claxton said.

He said investigators were seeking a search warrant for the gunman's home in hopes of determining the motive and if he acted alone.

Asked if the gunman had any beef with the U.S. government, Claxton said, "We're really digging hard at this point to find out."

Claxton said the man began firing from a parking lot across from the federal building. "He was observed in the parking lot very quickly after the first shots were fired," he said.

Courthouse security and local police ultimately returned fire and hit the man. He did not know if there was an exchange of gunfire.

The building houses a variety of courtrooms and related offices, including judges, prosecutors and law enforcement.

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