UPDATE: Suspect, victims in courthouse shooting identified

Marilyn Tennissen Mar. 14, 2012, 1:58pm

Bartholomew Granger, 41, has been identified as the suspect in a shooting rampage that left one dead and three others wounded.

Police have identified the gunman in today's deadly shooting rampage at the Jefferson County Courthouse as 41-year-old Bartholomew Granger.

Granger allegedly opened fire outside the courthouse at around 11:20 a.m. Wednesday. By noon, one person was dead, three others were injured and Granger himself was wounded and in police custody.

Jefferson County Sheriff Mitch Woods said at an evening press conference that Granger was on trial for aggravated sexual assault of a child in Judge John Stevens' Criminal District Court. Testimony began Tuesday and was to continue Wednesday afternoon.

Two of the victims have been identified as Granger's 20-year-old daughter, Samantha Jackson, and Jackson's mother, whose name has not been released. The women were witnesses in the trial against Granger.

According to officials, Granger, who was out on bond for the sexual assault, left the court and went to his truck in the courthouse parking lot. There he retrieved a gun and opened fire.

He shot Jackson and then ran over her with his truck. She is in critical condition at an area hospital. Her mother was also hit, and she managed to crawl back inside the courthouse.

The wounded woman was taken to the courthouse basement, which led to false early reports that the shooter had been inside the courthouse. The woman was treated for minor injuries and released from a local hospital.

Another victim, identified only as a Hispanic female, was shot in the hand and has also been released from medical treatment. Officials said she was not connected to Granger's trial.

Neither was 79-year-old Minnie Ray Sebolt of Deweyville, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials called Sebolt an innocent bystander who was at the courthouse to renew a motor vehicle registration.

As Granger fired outside the courthouse, seven Beaumont police officers and two Jefferson County sheriff's deputies returned fire.

"It was a running gun battle, like you see in the movies," Beaumont Police Chief James Singletary said at a press conference. "It was quite a sight."

Granger fled the scene in his pickup truck and officers shot out the truck's windshield and tires about a block from the courthouse, near the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce offices.

He then took off on foot with law enforcement in pursuit. Granger was shot, but managed to run another block to Richard Construction Inc. in the 1100 block of Neches Street.

Singletary said the employees in the business "refused to be victims" and were able to take Granger's gun as he drifted in and out of consciousness and then unlocked the large metal doors of the facility to let in SWAT officers.

Granger was apprehended and taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. He was released a short time later and is currently in custody in the Jefferson County Jail.

Woods said Granger has been charged with one count of murder and is being held without bond. The bond from the aggravated sexual assault for which he was being tried has been revoked.

The Jefferson County Courthouse will remain closed Thursday as law enforcement officials piece together evidence from the large crime scene.

More News