Security guard killed, U.S. Marshall shot in federal building in Las Vegas

Monday, January 4, 2010 - 2:45pm

A gunman opened fire in the lobby of a federal building in downtown Las Vegas on Monday, killing a court officer and wounding a deputy U.S. marshal before he was shot to death.

Dave Oney, spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service, told Fox News that the deputy marshal and a court security officer were shot at approximately 8 a.m. PT in the lobby of the Lloyd D. George Federal Courthouse.

The 48-year-old deputy marshal was hospitalized; the 65-year-old security officer died.

FBI Special Agent Joseph Dickey said the gunman died across the street shortly after the shootout. The man's identity and motive were not immediately known.

A passerby caught dramatic cell phone footage of the shooting, which revealed that more than 40 shots were fired.

Authorities believe the shooter acted alone, Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Roxanna Lea Irwin said.

The building was evacuated, police and news helicopters circled overhead, and Las Vegas police cordoned off the area for several blocks. A 16-story state and local courthouse two blocks away was locked down as a precaution.

After police arrived, paramedics wheeled at least two people down a ramp to ambulances.

Dickey called the building evacuation "standard procedure" in such an incident, and said it was "for the safety of everybody in the place."

Las Vegas police spokeswoman Barbara Morgan said the shooter had been shot in the head.

"It looks like he went in there and just started unloading," Morgan said.

The Lloyd D. George U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building is named for a longtime senior federal judge who still hears cases. It has federal courts and offices for federal officials including U.S. Sens. Harry Reid and John Ensign. Neither was in the building at the time, authorities said.

Irwin said she saw shotgun casings on the floor of the federal building lobby.