Security Upped At Texas Courthouse After DA Killed

fromKERA

In Texas, the Kaufman County district attorney and his wife were shot dead in their home over the weekend. The incident comes two months after an assistant district attorney was killed.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's return to this country. A community near Dallas is trying to understand why two prosecutors have been gunned down within the span of two months. The latest was over the weekend. The district attorney of Kaufman County, Texas and his wife were fatally shot in their home. Here's Bill Zeeble from member station KERA.

BILL ZEEBLE, BYLINE: Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes was brief and offered few details about the death of DA Mike McClellan and his wife Cynthia. He says his office got a call a little after 6 p.m. Saturday, mentioning suspicious people in McClellan's neighborhood near Forney, Texas. That's about 30 miles southeast of Dallas. When the sheriffs got there, they found the DA and his wife shot dead. Just two months ago, county prosecutor Mark Hasse was gunned down on his way to work.

SHERIFF DAVID BYRNES: It's unnerving to the law enforcement community. It's unnerving to the community at large. And that's why we're striving to, you know, assure the community that we are still providing public safety and will be able to do that.

ZEEBLE: Byrnes was not ready to tie the Kaufman County deaths together. But lifelong Kaufman resident Betty Bryant believes there's some connection.

BETTY BRYANT: I'm sure it's organized. It has to be organized for them to disappear like they do. So they know what they're doing, and they know who they want. I think it's for the officials.

ZEEBLE: So Bryant's not worried for her own safety, but Courtney Godwin is, to some degree. Like Bryant, she was at a private Easter gathering near Kaufman's town square.

COURTNEY GODWIN: I mean, there's always going to be - always going to kind of live in fear, but it's not fair that anyone has to live in fear in this community now.

ZEEBLE: Godwin stood very near the site two months ago where county attorney Mark Hasse was shot.

GODWIN: I'm not saying that I'm actually worried about myself every day, but I do know a lot of people that work in the courthouse. I'm concerned for them. You never know what can happen now. I mean, that was just shocking.

ZEEBLE: Sheriff Byrnes says numerous local, state and federal officials - including the ATF and FBI - are actively involved in this investigation. For NPR News, I'm Bill Zeeble in Dallas.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.