Kidnapper's father ID'd as Delaware shooter
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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Nurse defies Maine quarantine in standoff over Ebola
- Few knew of cyber attack on White House computer network
- Ferguson grand jury cleared in leaks about police shooting of black teenager
- Inmate freed in landmark case
- Terminally ill woman may delay planned Nov. 1 suicide
- Gray wolf sighting reported at Grand Canyon
- Botched probe of suspected arms dealer echoed Fast and Furious, watchdog finds
- Wash. shooting survivor has jaw surgery
- Plane slams into pilot training center at Kansas airport, killing 4
- Hawaii’s National Guard sent to lava flow site
- Museum saves part of bomber plant