Judge in deadly Michigan courthouse shooting speaks out - WNEM TV 5

Judge in deadly Michigan courthouse shooting speaks out

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(Michigan Department of Corrections via AP). (Michigan Department of Corrections via AP).
(Chelsea Purgahn/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP). (Chelsea Purgahn/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP).

The judge involved in the deadly Berrien County courthouse shooting earlier this week is speaking out.

Berrien County Trail Court Judge Charles LaSata is calling the two slain court officers heroes.

The judge described the scene of a frightening few minutes during what was supposed to be a routine courtroom appearance.

Larry Gordon’s court appearance was supposed to be no more than a routine visit before being transported back to the jail.

Gordon was lead into a secured room next to the courtroom on the third floor of the courthouse. Moments later, the judge heard a scuffle and yelling.

“My bailiff, Ron Keinzle, immediately responded…ran across the courtroom. Was going through the door, began to draw his weapon when we heard the shots,” LaSata said.

The judge followed protocol, hitting the panic button and getting his court personnel into his chambers.

It was over in minutes but days later many are still asking questions about whether it could have been prevented.

The judge dismisses any second guessing.

"We have to recognize in life that sometimes tragedies occur. It's no one's fault,” he said.

The judge was among hundreds of people who filled St. Joseph Tuesday afternoon to march in unity for the two fallen court officers.

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