People inside the building ducked under desks as the shots struck the building and shattered windows.
U.S. Attorney Bill Ihlenfeld said shots were fired into at least three rooms in his office on the building’s second floor. He described hearing gunshots, then panic among staff.
“Members of my staff were crawling on the floor or running from office to office telling people to get away from the windows,” he said.
Ihlenfeld said he knew Piccard from 1997 until the officer retired in 2000. He said he had no reason to believe his office was targeted, and that Piccard was not under any sort of investigation by federal authorities.
“There was nothing about my relation with him or anything that I observed in dealing with him ... to cause me to think anything like this would happen,” he said.
About 40 percent of Ihlenfeld’s staff was furloughed because of the federal government shutdown, so many weren’t working on Wednesday.
“To be honest, the security plans in place to deal with a situation like this don’t work when we don’t have everybody there,” he said, without elaborating.
Carla Webb Daniels told media outlets she was in her attorney’s office nearby when she heard loud gunshots. She saw the gunman fire from a bank parking lot across the street.
“I was so nervous, I couldn’t believe it,” Daniels said. “People were scared and were banging on the doors asking to be let in.”
Piccard’s body will be sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston for an autopsy. Meanwhile, officials continued to search his four-door sedan that he drove to the scene and his trailer across the river in Bridgeport, Ohio.
Johnson said a bomb squad would clear the home before investigators go in as a precaution.