Repairs Made Following October Shooting at Federal Courthouse - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Repairs Made Following October Shooting at Federal Courthouse in Wheeling

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WTRF Update


Final repairs are being made to the Federal Building in Wheeling  two months after the shooting that ended with a former police officer being killed.

Crews worked to repair the glass on the outside of the building on Chapline Street.

Former Wheeling police officer Tom Piccard opened fire on the federal courthouse on October 9th.

Police shot and killed Piccard shortly after opening fire

 

Original Story


 

 

A former Wheeling police officer was identified as the suspect that allegedly opened fire on a federal courthouse in downtown Wheeling Wednesday.

(Click here to view photos from the scene)

Thomas J. Piccard, 55, was killed at the scene after authorities say he shot about two dozen shots toward the federal courthouse on Chapline Street in Wheeling.  Police returned fire as the suspect was in the act of firing at the building.  According to witnesses at the scene, Piccard did stop to reload what appeared to be an assault-type rile during the incident.  Piccard was shot by a court security officer and a Wheeling Police officer.

According to authorities during a news conference, weapons at the scene included an assault rifle and a handgun.  Authorities have not released the make and caliber of the weapons at this time.  

Three injuries were sustained during the shooting.  All injuries were reported minor and the victims were treated and released Wednesday night.  

During the investigation, authorities went to Piccard's home in Bridgeport, Ohio.  According to Bob Johnson, FPI special agent with the Pittsburgh division, a bomb squad was sent to Piccard's home at Presidential Estates Trailer Court as a precautionary measure.

As a result of the incident, Bridgeport schools were placed on lock down while police searched the home of the suspect.

On Thursday, Piccard's neighbors said he recently revealed to them that he had stomach cancer.

During a news conference Thursday, U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld described his first-hand account of what happened inside the federal building when shots rang out.

"It sounded like gun shots and then panic within the office," said Ihlenfeld.  "Members of my office were either crawling on the floor or running office to office telling people to get away from the windows."

Ihlenfeld also said on Thursday that he believed no specific people or offices at the federal building were targeted, but that Piccard did have an "anti-government bias."

The weapons from the scene have been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  Piccard's body was sent to Wheeling Hospital and transferred to Charleston for an autopsy.

Piccard was a former Wheeling police officer and has been off the force for more than 13 years.  He resigned in July 2000.

Because the shooting took place at a federal building, the FBI is handling the investigation. Authorities are investigating a possible motive.

Chapline Street has been closed as a result of the shooting.  The federal courthouse did reopen Thursday but some employees were allowed to stay home.