A 41-year-old man has been arrested by local police after he allegedly killed a family member and wounded four others in a shooting outside the Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont, Texas, officials said.
According to a report by USA Today, Bartholomew Granger, of Houston, began shooting at relatives outside the courthouse shortly after 11am while waiting for his trial on charges he had assaulted a family member to resume. An elderly woman, later identified as 79-year-old Minne Ray Seabolt, died in the entrance to the courthouse, one person was hit in the hand, a third was shot in the back but managed to stagger into the building, and a fourth victim – Granger’s 20-year-old daughter – was shot in the parking lot.
“It was crazy,” Beaumont Police Chief Jimmy Singletary is quoted as saying by USA Today. “He was shooting. Our guys were shooting.”
Police say Granger was firing from his truck and then ran over his daughter as he drove away. He drove about three blocks before abandoning his truck in the middle of the street then taking hostages in a nearby construction business, police said.
Once inside, Granger spoke by phone to police and told them he was wounded. Hostages eventually took Granger’s gun from him at a moment when he was semi-conscious, then let police in.
“If he had gotten out of that four-block area with the frame of mind he was in, who knows what might have happened,” Chief Singletary added.
While police were unable to discuss a possible motive for the fatal courthouse shooting, the Houston Chronicle states it appears to be related to an ongoing custody battle between Granger and his estranged wife, and allegations that Granger and his two brothers had sexually assaulted a family member.
According to the Chronicle, Granger has a lengthy criminal history that includes convictions for possession of marijuana and unlawfully carrying a firearm.
More on Bartholomew Granger and the Beaumont Courthouse shooting in the video below:
via USA Today