Texas Courthouse Shooting Hostages Turn 'Heroes'

PHOTO: Police take gunman into custody after shooting at Jefferson County Courthouse.
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A Houston man on trial for aggravated sexual assault opened fire today in Beaumont, Texas, leaving his 20-year-old daughter in critical condition and wounding her mother, according to police.

Bartholomew Granger, 41, also shot at two bystanders, killing 79-year-old Minnie Ray Seabol and wounding the other bystander, police said.

The incident began at 11:21 a.m. when Granger began shooting from a truck in front of the Jefferson County courthouse.

His daughter, Samantha Jackson, and ex-wife were witnesses against him in his sexual assault case; Jackson had already begun her testimony in the case and was scheduled to resume at 1:00 p.m.

"He was in the vehicle shooting; officers did return fire," Beaumont Police Department Officer Carol Riley said at a news conference. After shooting his daughter, Granger ran her over with his vehicle, authorities said.

Nine officers responded when the shooting started.

After Granger's truck was disabled, he ran about one block to a business and took hostages inside the establishment.

The hostages, however, refused "to be victims," said Beaumont Police Chief James Singletary at a press conference later today. "They took the gun away from him and unlocked the door for the SWAT team" to enter.

Singletary added, the hostages did "a great job and we want to thank them." The hostages' names have not been released.

Granger suffered some gunshot wounds during the confrontation with law enforcement, according to Jefferson County Sheriff Mitch Woods. He has been released from the hospital and is in custody in the Jefferson County Jail.

He is expected to be arraigned on murder and attempted murder charges, but no court date has been set.

Granger's ex-wife and the second injured bystander have both been treated and released from the hospital. Granger's daughter remains hospitalized in critical condition.

This is the second courthouse shooting over this past week. On March 7, a shooting outside the Tulsa County Courthouse in Oklahoma left one deputy and three others injured. A barefoot man went to the courthouse plaza and apparently began shooting randomly.

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