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Woman shot dead, 3 hurt outside courthouse

A man at court with family members opened fire outside a Beaumont, Texas courthouse, killing one person and wounding at least three others. Msnbc's Tamron Hall reports.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET: One person was killed and three wounded by a man who left a courthouse, retrieved a gun from his car and started firing in the parking lot, police in Beaumont, Texas, said Wednesday.

A detective outside the courthouse fired back. He quickly was joined by law enforcement officers from nearby buildings, police said.

The gunman retreated to his pickup truck and, still firing, ran over one of the people who had been shot as he drove away. He drove about three blocks and abandoned his truck in the middle of the street before entering a nearby construction business, police said.

Police did not provide details on the victims, but KFDM TV reported that the person killed was an elderly woman.

Initial reports had said four people were wounded.

The suspect, who was wounded, surrendered to police after briefly holding hostages in a building two blocks from the courthouse in Beaumont, about 80 miles east of Houston.

A judge told KBMT TV that the suspect is a man facing charges of having sexually assaulted his young daughter, who reportedly is mentally handicapped. He had been expected at a hearing Wednesday afternoon, the judge said.

The Beaumont Enterprise said the judge identified the shooter as Bartholomew Granger, 41.

Dave Ryan / The Beaumont Enterprise

One of the victims in Wednesday's shooting in Beaumont, Texas, is assisted by police.

Two of the victims were said to be relatives of the suspect.

"This guy was driving crazy and he was shooting and we were shooting and people were ducking under cars," said Jimmy Singletary, chief of police in Beaumont. "This was a classic shootout here that our guys handled very well." 

The suspect took hostages in a nearby building but, after a brief standoff, surrendered, said Zena Stephens, an official with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

"We contacted him by phone. He said he was wounded and he wanted to come out," Singletary said. "He had serious wounds. He was agitated."

Describing the shooting, Ricky Gandy said he went to the window of his office after hearing a "pop, pop, pop."

He saw police shooting at a pickup truck as it came out of the parking lot, but the driver "never really got in a hurry."

"Once it started, it was kind of like the Fourth of July," Gandy added. "Several shots, I imagine, I'm guessing at least 30 shots all together."

The shooting follows one at a county courthouse in Washington state last Friday in which a man shot a sheriff's deputy and attacked a judge.

Two days before that a gunman fired shots into the air and then traded gunfire with police outside the county courthouse in Tulsa, Okla., wounding a sheriff's deputy and a bystander.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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