MASONTOWN, Pa. (CN) — A man arrested on domestic-violence charges shot three civilians and a police officer Wednesday outside a courtroom where he was due to appear. He was killed at the scene.
Fayette County prosecutors say Patrick Dowdell, 61, entered the lobby of a courthouse in Masontown shortly after 2 p.m., drew a handgun and opened fire.
Sgt. R. Scott Miller, the first to confront the gunman, sustained a shot to his hand. The gunman continued firing shots after Miller took cover, injuring two men and one woman with non-life threatening wounds.
“I want to make it clear: Without the rapid response of these brave officers to the shooting, more individuals may have been shot,” Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Steve Dowlin said at a press conference.
Miller and the three wounded civilians were taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia. They were all released Wednesday night. The two men are described as ages 35 and 47, and the woman is 39.
About a month before the shooting, Dowdell had been arrested on charges of aggravated assault, terroristic threats, strangulation, simple assault and harassment.
He was due in court on the day of the shooting in connection to those allegations.