The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

October 10, 2013

Ex-cop killed after firing at U.S. courthouse

WHEELING, W.Va. — Investigators said they are trying to determine why a retired police officer fired up to two dozen shots at a federal courthouse in West Virginia on Wednesday before officers returned fire and killed him.

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger identified the gunman as Thomas J. Piccard, 55, of Bridgeport, Ohio. He was a retired Wheeling police officer.

Piccard was armed with an assault weapon and a handgun. But Schwertfeger did not say whether Piccard used both weapons during the assault on the Wheeling Federal Building or speculate on a motive. Officials said they had no knowledge of any sort of note left behind by Piccard.

Three on-duty security officers were injured by flying debris during the onslaught, he told a news conference.

Investigators were seeking a search warrant for Piccard’s home in hopes of determining a motive and if he acted alone, said Chief Deputy Mike Claxton of the U.S. Marshals Service in northern West Virginia.

Asked if the gunman had any beef with the U.S. government, Claxton said, “We’re really digging hard at this point to find out.”

Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie said police who briefed him earlier Wednesday told him that Piccard was a 20-year-plus veteran of the force who retired 13 years ago.

Claxton said a man later identified as Piccard began firing from a parking lot across from the federal building. “He was observed in the parking lot very quickly after the first shots were fired,” he said.

The building houses a variety of courtrooms and related offices, including those for judges, prosecutors and law enforcement.

Officials said it was too early to tell whether Piccard was targeting anyone in the building or what his motive may have been.

“That’s still trying to be determined,” said Bob Johnson, the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Pittsburgh office.

Text Only
AP story section
  • State to reopen Juvenile Home DES MOINES -- A district court judge on Wednesday ordered the state to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home, telling Gov. Terry Branstad he cannot unilaterally change a law approved by the state Legislature. Judge Scott Rosenberg said the home in Toledo was

    February 6, 2014

  • Panel OKs ban on remote abortion pill distribution DES MOINES -- A legislative panel approved a measure Wednesday that would ban the remote distribution of abortion pills, a proposal the bill's sponsor said is intended to delay the procedure and give women more time to change their minds. The subcomm

    February 6, 2014

  • Sioux City gambling group halts local grants SIOUX CITY -- The nonprofit that holds the gambling license for the Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino has voted to temporarily stop sending grants to local charities and government agencies. A legal dispute with the operator of the casino, Penn Nati

    January 15, 2014

  • Davenport pays, apologizes to hearing impaired man DAVENPORT (AP) -- The city of Davenport has issued an unusual apology to a former alderman after a police employee was caught on tape saying that he intentionally knocked softly on the hearing-impaired man's door when responding to a service call. Th

    January 15, 2014

  • Budget Branstad presents budget for next fiscal year DES MOINES -- Gov. Terry Branstad offered a budget proposal Tuesday that includes a tax break for veterans, a tuition freeze for college students and incentives to encourage Internet expansion in rural Iowa, a more modest list of priorities one year

    January 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gov. restores more felons' voting rights IOWA CITY (AP) -- Gov. Terry Branstad restored voting rights to more felons in 2013 than the prior two years combined, but thousands of others remain disenfranchised under a 2011 policy change. Data released by the governor's office to The Associated

    January 15, 2014

  • Man fatally shot at Fla. theater over texting WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (AP) -- A 71-year-old retired police officer accused of shooting a man dead in a Florida movie theater told authorities that "he was in fear of being attacked" during Monday's confrontation. Curtis Reeves is charged with second-de

    January 15, 2014

  • Iowa Senator: Congress must confirm election board DES MOINES -- An Iowa senator asked a U.S. Senate committee Wednesday to confirm appointees to a federal election commission so a decision can be made about whether Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is properly using money for voter-fraud investig

    January 9, 2014

  • School Discipline Gov't: End overly zealous discipline in schools WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Obama administration is urging schools to abandon overly zealous discipline policies that civil rights advocates have long said lead to a school-to-prison pipeline that discriminates against minority students. The wide-ranging

    January 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Governor, lawmakers set modest goals for 2014 DES MOINES -- After reaching bipartisan agreements on several major policy initiatives last year, Gov. Terry Branstad said Wednesday that he is setting more modest expectations for the 2014 legislative session. Speaking at The Associated Press' annua

    January 9, 2014

AP Video
Facebook
National News