Judge shot in ambush at Jefferson courthouse

Suspected shooter killed by police officer

STEUBENVILLE — Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Joseph Bruzzese was shot this morning as he was walking to the entrance of the Jefferson County Courthouse.

The shooting occurred just minutes after 8 a.m. today in Court Alley, which is adjacent to the courthouse.

Bruzzese was taken by LifeFlight to a Pittsburgh-area hospital.

Steubenville City Manager Jim Mavromatis briefed reporters this morning and said a court probation officer witnessed the shooting and immediately started returning fire at the suspected shooter.

Mavromatis said the suspect was killed, and a second man who was in a car with the suspect was taken into custody by City Police.

The courthouse is closed this morning while the investigation by local law enforcement officers continues.

Mavromatis said the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, City Police and Ohio State Highway Patrol have done “an excellent job” securing the crime scene and are now working with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to look for shell casings and any evidence.

The suspect’s body was still lying next to a car in the Huntington Bank drive-thru area this morning.

Mavromatis said the suspect apparently backed into another car in an attempt to escape.

Bruzzese apparently was walking from Fourth Street to a narrow alley toward the courthouse when he was “ambushed,” Mavromatis said.