Gunman kills two in Brussels courtroom
Friday 04 June 2010
A lone gunman killed a magistrate and a clerk at a Brussels courthouse yesterday, then fled on foot, setting off a manhunt in the centre of the Belgian capital.
Officials were unable to give details about the gunman's identity or a possible motive for the killings which took place at 11.23am as the gunman attended a hearing.
"He was present at the outset of the hearing," said Jean-Marc Meilleur, a spokesman for the Brussels prosecutor's office. "Towards the end of the session, he pulled a gun. Shots were fired, after which the killer fled."
Mr Meilleur told a news conference "the gunman did not speak" and that he rose and took careful aim at the judge and the clerk.
Six hours after the killings, the gunman remained at large.
The courtroom was almost empty at the time of the shooting. Apart from the gunman and the two victims there were three lawyers and a spectator present, Mr Meilleur said.
Belgian media identified the magistrate as Isabelle Brandon and her clerk as Andre Bellemans. The justice of the peace hearings involve minor civil cases such as quarrelling neighbours or rent disputes.
Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck said the shootings showed the need for much stricter security in Belgian courthouses. Security at justice of the peace hearings is intentionally minimal to narrow the perceived divide between public and judiciary.
- 1 Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£125 - £150 per day + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: A 'wonderful primary ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is an 11-16 mixed commun...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough, Cam...