The shooting spree at a Texas courthouse yesterday could have been deadlier if not for the bravery of hostages, police say. After Bartholomew Granger opened fire on family members, injuring three people and killing a bystander, he shot at police officers, and attempted to get away in his truck before entering an office building and seizing hostages. He had been injured in the shootout, and police say the hostages disarmed him in a moment when he was semi-conscious. "They refused to be victims," said Beaumont's police chief.
Granger, 41, started shooting during a break in his trial on charges of sexually assaulting a family member, in which his 20-year-old daughter had testified against him the previous day. The daughter is in critical condition in a local hospital after being shot by Granger and then run over by him as he tried to get away. If he had escaped the area locked down by police "with the frame of mind he was in, who knows what might have happened," the police chief tells the Houston Chronicle. Granger, he says, apparently decided "this was the day he was going to do some damage, and he did."