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Dover Post
  • Police: NCCo courthouse gunman killed himself

  • The gunman, Thomas Matusiewicz, 68, of Texas suffered from a bullet wound to the chest and a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Delaware State Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Shavack said. Matusiewicz shot and killed his ex-daughter-in-law and her friend in the courthouse lobby just after 8 a.m.
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  • The man who killed two women in the New Castle County courthouse Monday morning turned the gun on himself after the shooting, police said Tuesday.
    The gunman, Thomas Matusiewicz, 68, of Texas suffered from a bullet wound to the chest and a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Delaware State Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Shavack said. Matusiewicz shot and killed his ex-daughter-in-law and her friend in the courthouse lobby just after 8 a.m.
    Christine Belford, 39, of Newark, had been engaged in a bitter custody battle with her ex-husband, Thomas Matusiewicz's son, David Matusiewicz, since their divorce in 2006.
    David Matusiewicz served three years in prison for kidnapping the couple's three children and moving them to Central America against Belford's wishes between 2007 and 2009.
    Belford's friend, Laura Mulford, 47, also of Newark, who was accompanying her to court that morning, was also killed during the shooting.
    On the morning of Feb. 11, police said that the suspect Thomas Matusiewicz entered lobby of the King Street courthouse at around 740 a.m. with his song David, both of whom reside in Edcouch, TX.
    David Matusiewicz and Belford were scheduled to appear in court that morning for a child support matter, police said.
    Upon arriving to the courthouse the younger Matusiewicz proceeded through the checkpoint monitored by Delaware Capitol Police. His father remained in the public lobby area.
    At 8:15 a.m., Belford and Mulford entered the public lobby area of the courthouse to also appear for the scheduled hearing.
    Thomas Matusiewicz approached the two women as they were standing in the public lobby area and pulled out a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun, firing multiple rounds at close range, and striking Belford in the upper body, police said.
    Mulford attempted to run, but she was also struck in the upper body at close range.
    Thomas Matusiewicz then turned his weapon in the direction of Capitol Police Officers that were in the lobby and fired multiple rounds as he attempted to leave the building.
    Officers Michael E. Manley, 42, and Steven D. Rinehart, 50, were struck in the upper body, where they were protected by their ballistic vests, Shavack said.
    During the gunfire exchange with officers, Matusiewicz suffered from a gunshot wound to his upper body.
    Police said that he then turned the gun on himself and killed himself by shooting himself in the head. His body was turned over to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner where is cause and manner of death was ruled a suicide.
    Belford and Mulford were both taken to the Christiana Hospital Trauma Center where they pronounced dead. Their cause and manner of death were ruled as homicides by gunshot wounds to the chest.
    Page 2 of 2 - Manley and Rineheart, who were both shot in the upper body, striking their ballistic vests, were taken to the Christiana Hospital Trauma Center where they were treated and released with minor injuries.
    Detective located David Matusiewicz in the courthouse after the shooting, where they interviewed him and determined that he was in violation of a federal probation violation. He was held for a hearing.
    On Tuesday, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden said that a Family Court judge issued an order forbidding David Matusiewicz's wife, Lenore, 67, from having any contact with the children of Belford and her son.
    The order states that she must stay 1,000 feet away from her grandchildren at all times and can have no direct or indirect contact with them.
    "The children are safe," Biden said in a statement Tuesday. "We sought this no-contact order because we believe Lenore Matusiewicz is a danger to the children and should not have any contact with them. Her actions over the past five years have given us serious concern that she poses a risk to the children's safety."
    In 2009, Biden's office prosecuted Lenore Matusiewicz for helping her son David in the kidnapping of his and Belford's three children.
    Lenore and David had fled with the children to Canada, Texas, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and eventually Nicaragua, where they were found by the U.S. Marshall's Service living in a motor home that Lenore had purchased, officials said. She was convicted of three counts of endangering the welfare of a child and sentenced to 18 months in state prison.
    In addition to the international kidnapping charges, David Matusiewicz was also convicted of one federal count of bank fraud.
    After serving time in federal prison and a halfway house, David Matusiewicz was released from federal custody in September 2012. Before being released, the Attorney General's Office successfully terminated his parental rights.
    The courthouse was on lock down and King Street was closed off at Ninth Street, with dozens of law enforcement vehicles at the scene Monday, and remained closed Feb. 12 to allow police to continue their investigation and allow Capitol Police to prepare for reopening Wednesday.
    Delaware State Police Homicide Detectives are continuing their investigation by conducting interviews, reviewing video surveillance, and collecting evidence from the crime scene, Shavack said. The total number of rounds fired has not yet been determined at this time.
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