Kaufman County prosecutor shot dead outside of courthouse
UPDATE: The victim has been identified as assistant district attorney Mark Hasse, who has worked on murder and drug cases in Dallas and Kaufman counties. The story has been changed to reflect this information.
The Kaufman County Courthouse and all schools in the district are on lockdown after an assistant district attorney was shot and killed at 8:50 am Thursday. Mark Hasse had been a member of the Kaufman County District Attorney's office since 2010. He previously worked in Dallas County.
The attack has been described as an ambush with two gunmen wearing all black cornering the attorney in the parking lot outside the courthouse. Police are looking for an older model silver Ford Taurus in connection with the crime. Kaufman is about 30 miles southeast of Dallas.
At a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Kaufman County officials dispelled a rumor that one of the alleged gunmen had been arrested in Dallas County.
"All the people who are investigating this are all right here," Kaufman County district attorney Mike McLelland said. "An arrest has not been made in Dallas County. Craig Watkins made a mistake."
As reported by WFAA, Hasse was on his way to misdemeanor court when he was fatally shot. The victim is not known to be currently working on any high-profile cases, though there's talk that he was once involved with investigating the Aryan Brotherhood. A source who knew Hasse tells CultureMap he was one of the top prosecutors in the area.
The Dallas County District Attorney's Office sent an email alerting staff of the shooting this morning:
This message is not intended to scare anyone but please be advised. A Kaufman County prosecutor was fatally shot a few minutes ago outside the Kaufman County Courthouse in Kaufman. Two masked gunmen are the suspects. They have not been apprehended yet.
Please be aware of your surroundings when leaving the building for your safety. This is probably an isolated incident but until further notice if you plan to work past dark today please be careful and ask security for assistance escorting you to your vehicles if needed.
Kaufman County district attorney Mike McLelland pledged to bring the gunmen to justice.
"We're not stopping. We're not slowing down. We're still doing our job," McLelland said.