Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese Jr. was on his way into work when he was ambushed in the parking lot outside the Jefferson County Courthouse in Steubenville. The 65-year-old judge had worked in that particular courthouse for twenty years.
The shooting went down at 8:00 a.m. on a Monday, August 21. Two suspects were waiting for the judge to arrive. When Judge Bruzzese got out of his car and started making his way towards the building, one suspect exited a vehicle at the back of the parking lot and opened fire hitting the judge in the chest and stomach.
The judge did manage to return fire with his own gun before a probation officer who was also nearby opened fire killing the suspect. Bruzzese was rushed to hospital via helicopter.
Nathaniel Richmond, the gunman who attempted to ambush Judge Bruzzese, is also the father of Ma'lik Richmond, one of the two teenage Steubenville High School football players convicted of rape in a 2013 case that garnered national attention.
Prosecutors do not believe that there is any connection between the attempted assassination of Judge Bruzzese and the prosecution of Ma'lik Richmond. The second person who was in the vehicle that Richmond got out of is not considered a suspect. It appears that he was under the impression that the shooter, Nathaniel Richmond, had to be in court Monday morning and was just doing him a favor by driving him there.