Relatives Say Courthouse Gunman Was Suicidal

GRAND MARAIS, Minn. (WCCO) — The Cook County Sheriff said the man who opened fire Thursday in a courthouse in Grand Marais got the gun from his own vehicle.

Daniel Schlienz was convicted on a sexual assault charge in Cook County Court. After the jury found him guilty of criminal sexual conduct, he left the building then came back into the courthouse and into County Attorney Timothy Scannell’s office with the loaded weapon.

Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk said Schlienz shot Greg Thompson, a witness subpoenaed in the case who was in Scannell’s office. Thompson, 53, was hit in the leg and was able to flee the office.

County Attorney Scannell, 45, had gone behind a counter in his office when Schlienz shot him, according to Falk.

Schlienz then left the office and saw Thompson on a nearby landing and allegedly shot him a second time. At that point Schlienz’s defense attorney came to Scannell’s aid.

The bailiff, Deputy Gary Radloff, heard the gunshots. After clearing the jury and the judge from the courtroom, he followed the sound of the shots to Schlienz. He confronted him and they got into a struggle. Radloff, 70, was injured but wasn’t shot.

Finally, another Cook County deputy and a Minnesota State Patrol trooper arrived on the scene and took Schlienz into custody.

Schlienz was on trial for a crime to which he entered an Alford plea in 2007. He had appealed the case and was granted a trial. He wasn’t in custody during the trial, but is now in the Cook County jail.

Charges are expected Monday.

Relatives said Schlienz was suicidal. His family told WCCO that his legal problems have been weighing on him over the last few years.

They also said that he had previously told his father that he hated the prosecuting attorney.

The courthouse was closed Friday while BCA officials investigated.

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