More details on Wednesday’s shooting outside of a Beaumont, Texas courthouse…
A Houston man on trial for aggravated sexual assault opened fire today in Beaumont, Texas, leaving his 20-year-old daughter in critical condition and wounding her mother, according to police.
Bartholomew Granger, 41, also shot at two bystanders, killing 79-year-old Minnie Ray Seabol and wounding the other bystander, police said.
The incident began at 11:21 a.m. when Granger began shooting from a truck in front of the Jefferson County courthouse.
His daughter, Samantha Jackson, and ex-wife were witnesses against him in his sexual assault case; Jackson had already begun her testimony in the case and was scheduled to resume at 1:00 p.m.
“He was in the vehicle shooting; officers did return fire,” Beaumont Police Department Officer Carol Riley said at a news conference. After shooting his daughter, Granger ran her over with his vehicle, authorities said.
Nine officers responded when the shooting started.
After Granger’s truck was disabled, he ran about one block to a business and took hostages inside the establishment.
The hostages, however, refused “to be victims,” said Beaumont Police Chief James Singletary at a press conference later today. “They took the gun away from him and unlocked the door for the SWAT team” to enter.
Singletary added, the hostages did “a great job and we want to thank them.” The hostages’ names have not been released.
Granger suffered some gunshot wounds during the confrontation with law enforcement, according to Jefferson County Sheriff Mitch Woods. He has been released from the hospital and is in custody in the Jefferson County Jail.
He is expected to be arraigned on murder and attempted murder charges, but no court date has been set.
Granger’s ex-wife and the second injured bystander have both been treated and released from the hospital. Granger’s daughter remains hospitalized in critical condition.
Here’s a little more info from the Houston Chronicle about Granger’s possible motive:
an ongoing custody battle between Granger and his estranged wife, and allegations that Granger and his two brothers had sexually assaulted a family member.
Court records show that in 1999, Granger and his wife, who lives in Lake Charles, La., separated and that the two had since fought bitterly over custody of their two children.
Outside Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth on Wednesday, Granger’s family said the stress of the trial had been taking a toll on him recently.
Granger’s brother, Ulysses Granger, said his brother had dressed for court that morning, picked up his briefcase and left Houston before 7 a.m., heading to the courthouse in Beaumont to continue fighting charges that he had raped a family member.
“He said, ‘My head is so messed up I can’t even think straight,’ ” Ulysses Granger said of their conversation Wednesday morning. “He said he was going to clear his head. He hugged me, kissed me on the cheek and left. He was stressed. This has been going on for 15 years.”
At a news conference Wednesday night in Houston, other relatives said Granger and his siblings were innocent of the charges. During the event, law enforcement officials arrested one of the alleged gunman’s brothers, Lyndon Granger, on outstanding felony warrants.
Well of course the family is going to say the brothers were innocent of the sexual assault allegations — but even if Granger’s daughter and mother were lying that doesn’t justify shooting anybody or running them over!