Law officers in Steubenville, Ohio, shot and killed Nathaniel “Nate” Richmond on Monday after he ambushed and opened fire on a judge outside the Jefferson County courthouse, seriously injuring him and wounding a bystander.
Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. was airlifted to a hospital in Pittsburgh for emergency surgery and is expected to recover.
The bystander was hit by a ricocheting bullet, according to WTRF-TV. The unidentified person was treated at a nearby hospital and wasn’t seriously injured.
Richmond “laid in wait, for our judge, and ... it just hurts. First thing on a Monday morning,” Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said at a press conference. “This was ambush and attempted murder on our judge.”
“Thank God he’s not that good a shot,” Abdalla added.
Nathaniel Richmond is the father of Ma’Lik Richmond, one of two former Steubenville High School football players convicted of raping a 16-year-old girl in August 2012. The case drew national attention and outrage, in part because of the use of social media during the sexual assault. Some Steubenville residents also complained that attempts were made to cover-up the crime to protect the football team
Authorities said they don’t believe Monday’s shooting is connected to the rape case. Ma’Lik Richmond’s trial was overseen by a visiting judge from a different county, not Bruzzese. Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin told the AP investigators are still looking for a motive for the shooting.
The younger Richmond was in the spotlight earlier this month for being allowed to be on the football team at Youngstown State University in Ohio. Students at the school circulated a petition seeking his removal from the roster. School officials responded by announcing that the 20-year-old wouldn’t play in any games this year, but would remain on the team and participate in practices.