CRIME
07/16/2013 12:12 pm ET

Texas Judge Shot: Tom Greenwell Found Dead In Chambers From Gunshot Wound

A Texas judge, shot in the head, was found dead in his chambers Monday night.

Custodians discovered the body of State District Judge Tom Greenwell in his office at the Nueces County Courthouse in Corpus Christi at about 7 p.m. He was 57.

Nueces County Sheriff Jim Kaelin confirmed to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that Greenwell died from a gunshot wound to the head, but he failed to state whether foul play was a factor. While police initially searched for an active shooter, officials later said the situation was clear.

Some local outlets reported that, based on the circumstances, Greenwell's death is believed to be an apparent suicide. However, those reports have yet to be confirmed by authorities.

It's unclear how the gun -- which was found next to Greenwell's body -- was brought into the Texas courthouse. Security officers posted at the entrance use metal detectors to conduct a thorough search of the public, but certain authorized personnel, including judges, are often exempt from these scans.

Greenwell, the first Republican judge elected to the 319th district, held the judgeship since 2001. At the time of his death, he was seeking reelection for his fourth term on the bench.

Greenwell's campaign manager and friend, Al Hinojosa, described the late judge as "caring" and "very steady."

"I would have never, ever imagined that this man could have done anything to himself over any issue," Hinojosa told KIII-TV 3.

The Nueces Sheriff's Office noted that there will be an investigation into the circumstances of the shooting.

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