As Washington Examiner reporter Salena Zito tweeted, thank God he was carrying! A man opened fire on a judge outside of a courthouse in Steubenville, OH. The judge took out his gun and fired back. He killed the suspect.

The suspect was Nathaniel Richmond, the father of one of the Steubenville High School football players convicted of rape.

Authorities still do not have a connection to the rape case though. The Steubenville rape case caught national attention back in 2012. Richmond’s son Ma’Lik left a juvenile detention center in January 2014 after serving 10 months of a year long sentence for the rape of a 16-year-old girl at a party.


According to Sheriff Fred Abdalla, the shooting suspect arrived in the Court Street Alley next to the Jefferson County Courtroom just after 7 this morning.

The suspect had a passenger with him in the car, who reportedly knew nothing about the suspected shooter’s plans. The suspected shooter reportedly told the passenger that he had to appear in court.

Sheriff Abdalla says the shots were fired at approximately 8 a.m.

Judge [Joseph] Bruzzese shot back, and a probation officer behind him shot as well, ultimately taking the suspect down to the ground and killing him.

The judge is currently in surgery in Pittsburgh, and the passenger has been released.

Officials have announced that Judge Bruzzese is out of surgery and doing well.

They do not have a motive, but the “suspect has a criminal record and a Steubenville address.” From The Washington Post:

“This individual laid in wait for our judge,” Abdalla said, tearing up during his remarks. “It just hurts. First thing on Monday morning, you have a judge shot in front of his courthouse … This was an ambush and an attempted murder on our judge.”

During additional remarks to reporters Monday afternoon, Abdalla described Bruzzese as an avid hunter and sportsman. The sheriff said that years earlier, he had urged Bruzzese to carry a weapon with him for protection due to all of the “nutcases” around the country.

“With all the nuts running around, I encouraged him to get a weapon,” Abdalla said. “And he did.”

According to Abdalla, the attacker approached the courthouse early Monday morning in a car with another person before leaving and returning. When the shooter saw Bruzzese, Abdalla said, he “jumped out” of the car and ran over to begin shooting.

The authorities do not consider the person in the car a suspect or accomplice. The person told them “that the shooter had only said he had to be in court Monday morning.” He never left the car.