Yesterday brought word of a law firm shooting in Phoenix in which a partner was injured. Today we have news of more gun violence, this time from Texas, resulting in the death of a prosecutor.
This morning, an assistant district attorney in Kaufman County, Texas, was shot and killed outside the courthouse. Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was on his way to misdemeanor court when he was ambushed by two men and gunned down.
The situation is still developing, but here’s what we know right now….
Here’s a report from KHOU out of Houston:
Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Pat Laney said the suspects ambushed the assistant DA on his way in to court and shot him multiple times at about 8:50 a.m. They then fled the scene. The courthouse was locked down and later closed for the day.
County Judge Wayne Gent confirmed the victim’s identity as Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse. The veteran worked as a prosecutor in Dallas County from 1983 to 1990. Gent told News 8’s Jonathan Betz that Hasse was not working on any high-profile cases that would’ve required any extra security. Investigators are following up on his caseload, however.
So it’s not yet clear why Hasse was targeted. Here is information about the suspects:
The Texas Department of Public Safety sent out an alert for troopers to be on lookout for a silver “older model” Ford Taurus. According to the alert, the two suspects are wearing all black and at least one is in a tactical vest. DPS choppers are flying low over the treeline in north Kaufman.
Here is an email that the Dallas County district attorney’s office issued about the shooting:
This message is not intended to scare anyone but please be advised. A Kaufman County prosecutor was fatally shot a few minutes ago outside the Kaufman County Courthouse in Kaufman. Two masked gunman are the suspects. They have not been apprehended yet.
Please be aware of your surroundings when leaving the building for your safety. This is probably a isolated incident but until further notice if you plan to work past dark today please be careful and ask security for assistance escorting you to your vehicles if needed. I will keep you informed as to the arrest of the suspects when i am notified. Don’t panic but please be aware of your environment when leaving the building.
Working as an assistant district attorney can be a perilous form of public service. This is sadly not the first time we’ve written in these pages about an attack on a prosecutor. We extend our sympathies and condolences to Mark Hasse’s family, friends, and colleagues.
Kaufman County Judge identifies assistant DA, calls shooting an ‘ambush’ [KHOU via Huffington Post]
Kaufman County Assistant DA Shot, Killed Near Courthouse [NBC 5 / Dallas-Fort Worth]
Earlier: Lawyer of the Day: Harry Batchelder