“This individual laid in wait for our judge. 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.”
Jefferson County Sheriff Fred J. Abdalla told reporters a man approached Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. as he walked to work—then began shooting. Bruzzese, however, was also armed and fired as many as five rounds at the attacker. The ambush quickly ended when a probation officer also returned fire, killing the assailant.
The scene unfolded in Steubenville, Ohio, location of a prominent 2013 rape case involving high school football players. Later in the day, the shooter was identified as Nathaniel Richmond, father of one of the two boys found guilty. Since Bruzzese played no part in the case, authorities still have no motive, though Nathaniel Richmond did have a criminal history in Bruzzese’s courtroom.
On Monday evening, Bruzzese was in stable condition and is expected to survive.