Thomas Matusiewicz confirmed as shooter
Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 21:04
Details about the fatal courthouse shooting on last Monday that left three dead and two police officers injured have been released by the Delaware State Police.
Thomas Matusiewicz, 68, of Edouch, Texas, was confirmed as the shooter by the state police in a press release. He entered the Wilmington courtroom lobby around 7:40 a.m. with his son David Matusiewicz, 45, of Edouch, Texas, who had a scheduled child support hearing with ex-wife and victim, Christine Belford, 39, of Newark.
While David Matusiewicz moved through a secure checkpoint, Thomas Matusiewicz stayed behind in the unsecure portion of the lobby. Around 8:15 a.m., Belford arrived with her friend, Laura Mulford, 47, of Newark. The shooter drew a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun and opened fire on the unsuspecting women.
He first struck Belford multiple times in the upper body and fired several rounds at a fleeing Mulford, some of which hit their mark. A shootout between Thomas Matusiewicz and Delaware Capitol Police Officers Michael Manley, 42, and Steven Rinehart, 50, ended when Matusiewicz suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
The shooter was pronounced dead at the scene, while the two women were transported to nearby Christiana Hospital Trauma Center where they were pronounced dead later that day. The two police officers were transported to the same hospital and released later that day. Each suffered only minor injuries due to their bulletproof vests.
David Matusiewicz was arrested during the initial investigation when detectives determined he was in violation of his federal probation. He is currently being processed through the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In a press release, the Delaware Attorney General’s Office said Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden issued an order prohibiting Lenore Matusiewicz, David’s mother and Thomas’ son, from coming within 1,000 feet of the three children David Matusiewicz and Belford shared.
“The children are safe,” Biden said. “We sought this no-contact order because we believe Lenore Matusiewicz is a danger to the children and should not have any contact with them. Her actions over the past five years have given us serious concern that she poses a risk to the children’s safety.”
In 2007, Lenore and David Matusiewicz kidnapped the three children he shared with Belford. The 18-month long episode ended when U.S. marshals found the Matusiewiczes and the three children in Nicaragua in a trailer that Lenore Matusiewicz bought.
The Delaware State Police continue to investigate several aspects of the case, such as forensic evidence and the events preceding the incident.
“We continue to conduct interviews and follow-up interviews, collect and analyze evidence and follow investigative leads in order to continue to piece together Matusiewicz’s movements and actions leading up to the tragedy that occurred at the New Castle County Courthouse,” Sgt. Paul Shavack stated in an email message.
The Delaware State Police requests that anyone who witnessed the incident who has not yet submitted to questioning contact Troop 2 at (302) 834-260 Extension #0.