Reuters International

By Justin Madden and Fiona Ortiz

(Reuters) - Two bailiffs were shot and killed inside a courthouse in St. Joseph in southwest Michigan on Monday and the shooter was also killed, Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey told reporters at a news conference.

"At about 2:25 we had a disturbance on the third floor of the courthouse. A person has shot two bailiffs, they are both deceased, and a deputy sheriff who is at the hospital right now being treated in the emergency room," Bailey said in a brief news conference.

"The suspect has been shot and killed," he added. He said the death of his friends was "terrible."

Several other wounded people are in stable condition at Lakeland Regional Hospital, Bailey said.

Buildings in the area were put on lockdown after the shooting, according to media reports.

"MSP (Michigan State Police) has secured the scene at the Berrien County courthouse and started its investigation into the shooting that occurred this afternoon," Governor Rick Snyder said in a Tweet.

Public information officers at Michigan State Police and the Berrien County Sheriff's Department declined to give any additional details.

Chris Gautz, public information officer for the Michigan Department of Corrections, tweeted that all Department of Corrections staff are safe and accounted for.

A witness, Gretta Volkenstein, told CNN that buildings and government agencies in the area were all on lockdown.

(Reporting by Justin Madden and Fiona Ortiz in Chicago; Additional reporting by Eric Beech in Washington; Writing by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by James Dalgleish)


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