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Kidnapper's father ID'd as Delaware shooter

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, 9:09 p.m.

WILMINGTON, Del. — A bitter custody battle that included an international kidnapping and prison sentences for a former optometrist and his mother ended in gunfire at a Delaware courthouse, with the doctor's father killing his former daughter-in-law and another woman before fatally shooting himself.

Delaware State Police said 68-year-old Thomas Matusiewicz walked into the lobby of the New Castle County Courthouse on Monday, pulled out a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol and shot 39-year-old Christine Belford and her 47-year-old friend Laura Mulford. He then exchanged fire with police, hitting two officers who were protected by armored vests.

Authorities were working Tuesday to understand how the killings were planned, questioning former optometrist and convicted kidnapper David Matusiewicz about his father and searching the older man's home in Edcouch, Texas. The yard of the small single-story home was filled with a crime scene investigation truck and unmarked grey pickup trucks commonly driven by federal agents.

Belford and Mulford, both of Newark, were at the county courthouse on Monday to attend a child support arrears hearing for David Matusiewicz.

During the shootout, Thomas Matusiewicz suffered two gunshot wounds but died from a self-inflicted gunshot, said Delaware state police spokesman Sgt. Paul Shavack.

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