Sniper sprays Idaho courthouse

He then hid in a nearby church for several hours before police stormed in today and found his body and the body of another man.


The shooter had an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, with a semi-automatic rifle, ammunition and spent shells nearby, police said.

The shooting began late yesterday and also wounded a second officer and a civilian, said David Duke, Moscow’s assistant police chief.

Mr Duke said the shooter fired into the Latah County Courthouse from a parking lot across the street to lure people into the line of fire.

Police did not know the shooter’s motive and did not believe he had a specific target in mind.

Dozens of bullets struck the courthouse shortly after 11pm, ripping through the county’s emergency dispatch centre, Mr Duke said.

No one was injured, and officers rushed outside.

“Whoever the shooter is, he wanted to draw people to the courthouse,” Mr Duke said. “When officers responded, he did open fire on them.”

A Moscow police officer was shot first, followed by a Latah County sheriff’s deputy who came to his aid. The civilian was struck after that, Mr Duke said.

“He was just shooting at anybody he could,” Mr Duke said.

None of the officers who responded returned fire, he said.

Mr Duke identified the officer killed as Lee Newbill, who was the first officer to respond to the shooting. He died by the time he arrived at a local hospital.

The wounded officer, identified as Latah County Sheriff’s Deputy Brannon Jordon, was in serious condition with multiple gunshot wounds after pulling Mr Newbill out of the line of fire, Mr Duke said.

Authorities did not release the name of the civilian, but Mr Duke said he was undergoing surgery and was in stable condition.

A final shot was heard from inside the church about 1am today, Mr Duke said.

The shooter’s body was found in the church sanctuary, and the body of another man was found in the church office. Authorities did not release the victim’s name or say whether he was a church employee.

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