Mark Hasse, a courthouse assistant prosecutor, was shot several times near the Kaufman County Courthouse today in Texas. The victim was reportedly on his way to the office when two shooters outfitted in black clothing ambushed and shot him. Sheriff's department spokeswoman Pat Laney spoke to WFAA and said the shooting suspects shot Hasse "off grounds."
After the shooting took place, both unidentified individuals hopped in a getaway car and fled the scene.
Here are 10 facts you need to know about America's latest shooting incident.
1. Mark Hasse's Shooting Has Ties to The Aryan Brotherhood
Hours after Hasse was gunned down, the Department of Justice issued a press release on its website. The release gave credit to the Kaufman County District Attorney's Office for aiding their investigation into two members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. Ben Christian Dillon, aka "Tuff," of Houston, and James Marshall Meldrum, aka "Dirty," pleaded guilty to racketeering charges on the day of the shooting. Before the press release was made public, though, The Dallas Morning News reported that "authorities with knowledge of the assistant DA's caseload" stated Hasse was "heavily involved" in an investigation of the Aryan Brotherhood. Hasse's Aryan Brotherhood case may have had a connection to his death.
2. There Are Two Shooters, and They're on the Loose
Two shooters reportedly committed this crime against Hasse. An active search by Texas police officials is under way.
3. The Shooters Have a Getaway Vehicle
The Texas Department of Public Safety issued an alert for troopers to be on the lookout for a silver "older model" Ford Taurus vehicle. The shooters reportedly peeled off in a similar car after the shooting took place.
4. The Suspects Are Wearing Distinctive Clothing
The two suspects are reportedly wearing all black. At least one of the shooters is wearing a tactical vest.
5. Hasse Was Ambushed
Reports say the victim was getting out of his car when he was ambushed by the two shooters and shot.
6. Hasse Was Shot Numerous Times
Hasse was said to be shot five or six times. One bullet is said to have hit his head.
7. The Shooting Was Near Washington Street
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The shooting took place around 9 a.m. in the parking lot outside the courthouse building on Washington Street.
8. The Dallas County District Attorney's Office Has Issued A Statement
The Dallas County District Attorney's Office gave further details on the crime in an e-mail to media outlets:
This message is not intended to scare anyone but please be advised. A Kaufman County prosecutor was fatally shot a few minutes ago outside the Kaufman County Courthouse in Kaufman. Two masked gunman are the suspects. They have not been apprehended yet. Please be aware of your surroundings when leaving the building for your safety. This is probably a isolated incident but until further notice if you plan to work past dark today please be careful and ask security for assistance escorting you to your vehicles if needed. I will keep you informed as to the arrest of the suspects when I am notified. Don’t panic but please be aware of your environment when leaving the building.
9. Hasse Has Been Pronounced Dead
After being shot, Hasse was taken to a nearby hospital. Earlier this afternoon, he was pronounced dead. County Judge Wayne Gen confirmed that Hasse worked as a prosecutor in Dallas, Texas from 1983 to 1990. While speaking with News 8's Jonathan Betz, he also confirmed that Hasse wasn't working on a high-profile case at the time of the crime.
10. The Courthouse Is Closed Down
The Kaufman County Courthouse area has officially been locked down by Texas police officials. Nearby schools have also been locked down by the Kaufman Independent School District. Forney, Texas ISD spokesman Larry Coker relayed this news to local news affiliates.