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Man Charged In Courthouse Shooting

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(credit: Cook County Jail)

(credit: Cook County Jail)

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GRAND MARAIS, Minn. (WCCO) – A Grand Marais, Minn. man has been charged with two counts of premeditated attempted murder in connection to last week’s courthouse shooting, in addition to other charges.

Daniel Schlienz, 42, is accused of shooting two people and injuring another in Cook County. On Monday, Attorney General Lori Swanson filed six charges against Schlienz in Cook County District Court.

“The shooting of a prosecutor and trial witness inside a courthouse strikes at the foundation of the pillars of justice,” Swanson said, in a released statement.

Schlienz had been found guilty of a criminal sexual assault charge when the shooting happened last Thursday.

According to the criminal complaint, Schlienz was meeting with his mother and his defense attorney after the conviction in a second floor conference room in the courthouse. He then left the room and walked towards the county attorney’s office.

Schlienz then pulled out a .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol and shot Gary Thompson, a witness in the case against Schlienz, who was just leaving the office. Schlienz then went into the office and shot Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell in the chest, according to the criminal complaint.

Authorities said Schlienz went back into the hallway and shot Thompson again. He then went back into the county attorney’s office when his mother entered, attempting to stop her son.

According to the criminal complaint, a struggle ensued as several attempted to disarm Schlienz. During the struggle, Schlienz was shot in the upper-thigh. Cook County Sheriff’s Deputy Gary Radloff drew his weapon to stop the attack but Schlienz then grabbed the deputy’s gun.

Another deputy, along with a state trooper, responded to the scene and attempted to get Schlienz to surrender by pinning him to the ground and using a Taser, the complaint said.

In order to keep Schlienz away from loose weapons, the state trooper dragged Schlienz into the hallway. Once authorities were able to get Schlienz outside of the courthouse, he continued to resist arrest and a Taser was used on him again.

According to the complaint, Schlienz told authorities he had a plan to hurt Scannell if found guilty. But Schlienz told authorities he did not plan to kill Scannell or Thompson, the witness.

As he was being booked into jail, Schlienz asked, “How is Gary doing? I think he got hurt. I didn’t mean for Gary to get hurt.”

Later Schlienz told investigators that he got the gun from his truck after the jury read the verdict.

Scannell suffered bullet wounds to his chest, pelvis and leg. According to the criminal complaint, the gunshot wound to his chest traveled within two inches of his heart.

Thompson suffered bullet wounds to his left leg and left hip. The gunshot wound to his left leg narrowly missed his femoral artery.

Both Scannell and Thompson are expected to survive. Scannell is in fair condition; Thompson is in good condition.

Radloff was also injured in the scuffle with a laceration to his right hand.

Schlienz is in custody. Bail was set at $2 million. His case is being handled by the public defender’s office, but that office has no comment, saying an attorney will be assigned once officials know where the case will be heard.

The suspect’s father, Gary Schlienz, told the Duluth News Tribune that his son is remorseful but has no memory of what happened. He says his son told him he left the courthouse after the verdict, intending to get a gun out of his truck and shoot himself.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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