Man who shot Ohio judge was father of high school football player convicted of rape, investigators say

Published August 21, 2017

The man who shot and wounded an Ohio county judge outside a courthouse Monday morning before being shot dead was the father of a Steubenville High School football player who was convicted of rape in 2013, authorities said Monday.

Jefferson County Judge Joseph Bruzzese Jr., 65, was "ambushed" while walking toward the county courthouse in Steubenville Monday morning, court officials said.

The gunman was identified as Nathaniel "Nate" Richmond, the father of Ma'Lik Richmond, a Steubenville High School football player who served nearly 10 months of a year-long sentence in juvenile detention after being convicted, along with another high school football player, of raping a 16-year-old girl in 2012.

The case brought international attention to the Ohio city and led to allegations of a cover-up to protect the football team.

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Ma'Lik Richmond is currently on the Youngstown State football team but isn't allowed to participate in any games following backlash surrounding his spot on the team.

Investigators are continuing to search for a motive but haven't yet found a connection to the rape case, Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said courthouse video shows Bruzzese and Richmond each firing about five shots. A probation officer fired as well, killing Richmond.

A second suspect, in the car with Richmond, was taken into custody shortly after the incident.

Bruzzese was airlifted to the hospital and was seen talking after the shooting, WTOV reported. Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he's been told Judge Bruzzese is expected to survive.

The courthouse was closed for the day as local and state authorities helped secure the scene. Jefferson County Commissioner Thomas Graham told WTOV that some courthouse workers witnessed the "tragic situation" and that people would need time to process what had happened.

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Bruzzese is one of the two judges serving in Jefferson County Common Pleas Court and hears general and domestic relations cases. He has served on that court since 1997, according to Ohio Supreme Court records. He was most recently re-elected in 2014 for another six-year term.

Judge Joseph Corabi, who also works at the courthouse, said Bruzzese was "clearly an intended target" because judges park in reserved spots next to the courthouse.

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor said the attack is a reminder of the real potential for violence against judges, and urged court employees to take extra precautions in both personal and professional activites. She added that violence against judges is an attack on the rule of law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/08/21/ohio-judge-wounded-in-courthouse-shooting-suspect-killed.html