Two bailiffs are dead and a sheriff's deputy

By Chris Harris and Greg Hanlon
Updated July 11, 2016 03:50 PM
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Courtesy Berrien County Sheriff's Office

A handcuffed inmate stole the gun of a sheriff’s deputy and fatally shot two bailiffs in a courthouse in Berrien County, Michigan, on Monday, before he was fatally shot by deputies, according to a press release from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect, Larry Gordon, 45, was an inmate in Berrien County Jail awaiting court appearances on several charges, the release states.

Gordon also non-fatally shot a deputy and a civilian. Both were in stable condition at a local hospital, Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey said at a press conference Monday.

According to the release, Gordon had been handcuffed with his hands in front of him before disarming the deputy and firing shots. He briefly attempted to take hostages before he was shot dead by other authorities.

The incident took place starting at around 2:25 p.m. on the third floor of the courthouse, Bailey said at the Monday press conference.

The victims were Joseph Zangaro, 61, and Ron Kienzle, 63. Zangaro was the Head of Courthouse Security and was a retired post commander with the Michigan State Police. Kienzle was a bailiff, a retired sergeant with the Benton Charter Township Police Department and a veteran with the U.S. Army.

“Both of these court officers were well-respected amongst law enforcement and within the community,” the release states.

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Retired Benton Township Police Officer Kim Fowler, who knew both victims, tells PEOPLE that the two victims were “both good guys, guys that wanted to be where they were.”

Fowler worked with Kienzle for 24 years in Benton Township and went to high school with him.

Fowler said he’d “always been a good, outgoing, nice guy. Both were good cops with good families.” Fowler added that they both had grown children.

The courthouse is located in St. Joseph, Michigan, in the southwest corner of the state.