Berrien Co. undersheriff: Slain bailiffs ‘were great men’

Berrien County Sheriff memorial
Flowers and balloons decorate a Berrien County Sheriff's Department cruiser a day after the courthouse shooting.


ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (WOOD) – The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is feeling the effect of Monday’s courthouse shooting, which killed bailiffs Joseph Zangaro and Ronald Kienzle.

Berrien County bailiffs killed
Undated courtesy photos of Joseph Zangaro (left) and Ronald Kienzle (right) who were killed at the Berrien County Courthouse on July 11, 2016. (Courtesy Berrien County Administration)

“We were friends with both these individuals and they were great men,” said Undersheriff Chuck Heit.

One of their own – deputy James Atterberry Jr. was also wounded when Larry Gordon wrestled his gun from him and opened fire. Atterberry Jr. was out of surgery Tuesday and listed in stable condition.

Berrien County deputy James Atterberry Jr.
Undated courtesy photo of deputy James Atterberry Jr. who was injured in the Berrien County Courthouse shooting. (Courtesy Berrien County Administration)

Heit said the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department held a “critical incident debriefing” Tuesday afternoon. The agency has also made crisis counselors available for grieving employees.

While the shooting weighed heavily on authorities Tuesday, they weren’t alone.

St. Joseph unity march
Hundreds of people filled the streets of St. Joseph Tuesday for a unity march for the courthouse shooting victims. (July 12, 2016)

“Berrien County is a great community as was evident today from the march, which happened from the courthouse to the memorial. The turnout there and the outpouring of support was amazing,” Heit said.

Sheriff Paul Bailey said there will be extra deputies at the courthouse when it reopens Wednesday.

Comments are closed.