KAUFMAN (CBSDFW.COM) – Courthouse employees are in shock and on edge, following the murder of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia on Saturday.
The killings took place almost two months to the day after Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was gunned down, steps from the courthouse.
“We are very much on alert. We obviously have folks who are out to do harm on elected officials so we take that very seriously in our jobs,” said Kaufman County Judge Bruce Wood. “I have great confidence that we’re being protected in our courthouse today.”
As promised by Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes, there was a very visible presence of extra law enforcement at the courthouse Monday.
Some employees opted to be escorted by law enforcement officers into the building.
Local police departments donated officers to provide security, but officials would not say how many more officers were patrolling the area and the courthouse.
The Kaufman County Sheriff’s office also declined to discuss any other safety measures they were performing for elected officials and prosecutors.
“Sure, there are extra precautions being taken, some that are visible, some that are not visible,” Wood said.
While the courthouse was open, the District Attorney’s office remained closed, jury duty was cancelled and dockets were postponed.
After Hasse’s murder, McLelland was outspoken in interviews, talking directly to the suspects and saying law enforcement was prepared to do anything to catch the killers.
This time around, following the murders of two prosecutors in two months, authorities are being more careful with their words.
“I don’t want to say anything that would put anyone is harm’s way,” Wood said.
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