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Domestic dispute ends in Delaware courthouse shooting; 3 dead

February 11, 2013|By Michael Muskal

An apparent domestic dispute overflowed into a deadly shooting in the lobby of a Wilmington, Del., courthouse that left three people dead and two injured, officials said.

The attack came at about 8 a.m., when a gunman entered the New Castle County courthouse and opened fire on two women. Officers returned fire, Delaware State Police Sgt. Paul Shavack told reporters at an afternoon news conference.

The two women were killed as was the gunman, Shavack said. Two police officers were taken to the hospital with injuries that were described as non-life-threatening.

Shavack would not discuss whether the gunman was shot by police or killed himself.

One of the slain women was described earlier in the day by Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams as the estranged wife of the gunman. Police did not confirm the relationship.

But at the news conference, Delaware Atty. Gen. Beau Biden said the shooting was the result of a custody dispute.

“It's developed out of a long, over the course of many years, custody dispute in the courts of this state,” Biden told reporters.

Even though they believed the gunman had acted alone, police searched the courthouse room by room as a precaution.

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