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Sheriff: 2 bailiffs, suspect dead in Michigan courthouse

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Tony Wittkowski/The Herald-Palladium/Han­dout via Reuters

(Read caption) Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey (C), who confirmed that two court bailiffs are dead after a shooting in the Berrien County Courthouse, is seen in St. Joseph, Michigan, U.S., July 11, 2016.

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Two bailiffs were shot and killed Monday inside a southwestern Michigan courthouse before officers killed the gunman, a sheriff said.

The incident occurred on the third floor of the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph, 100 miles northeast of Chicago.

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Sheriff Paul Bailey didn't provide additional details on how the shooting happened. He said he did not know anything about the shooter, why he was in the courthouse or how he got a gun. A sheriff's deputy who was shot was in stable condition at a hospital, and a fifth person was injured, although how that person was hurt wasn't immediately clear.

"I stand here with a heavy heart. A person has shot two bailiffs. They're both deceased," Bailey told reporters.

Other people in the area of the shooting sought shelter before "brave officers were able to come to their rescue and take the shooter down," the sheriff said. He didn't elaborate.

Bailey said he felt "terrible" about the deaths.

Berrien County, which borders Indiana, is in the far southwestern corner of Michigan.