A Kaufman County prosecutor was shot dead at the city’s courthouse on Thur., Jan. 31 at approximately 8:50 a.m. as he was leaving the parking lot area.
Two masked gunmen dressed in black, with one wearing a tactical vest, ambushed the assistant DA as he was on his way to misdemeanor court. The men then fled the scene immediately afterward in an older model silver Ford Taurus according to a WFAA.com news report.
Kaufman County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Pat Laney revealed that the victim was shot multiple times and that County Judge Bruce Wood had confirmed the victim’s identity, but the family had not been notified at the time of the news report.
He has since been identified as Mark Hasse by News 8, and they say he has served with the Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office since July 2010.
Hasse was formerly with the Dallas County DA’s Office, and his former supervisor there, attorney Ted Steinke had this to say about the shooting victim, “Mark was a really great guy, he was the consummate prosecutor, he was hard-working, loved his job, and juries loved him for some reason.”
Criminals did not however, as he worked as a felony prosecutor and drug and murder cases were his focus.
Judge Wood said that courthouse security is lax in the parking lot area where Hasse was gunned down, and since the victim was not working on any high-profile cases at the time then no extra security had been assigned to protect him.
Investigators are now looking at his case file load to see if any of the cases he was working could have played a role in the ambush and shooting death of the prosecutor.
Dallas News.com reported that one official has revealed that assistant DA Mark Hasse had been heavily involved in the investigation into the Aryan Brotherhood.
The Kaufman County courthouse was locked down and closed for the day following the shooting, as police warned other businesses in the area to lock their doors and remain alert of their surroundings.
In addition, the area school system was on lock down as well, with administrators advised to keep all school doors locked until 2 p.m., when they would reevaluate the plan.
A manhunt for the two suspects includes a heavier police patrol presence as well as helicopter use. The Texas Department of Public Safety notified their troopers of the BOLO on the suspect’s vehicle.
Kaufman County Crime Stoppers has offered a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the apprehension and successful arrest of those involved. Anonymous tips can be phoned in to 817.847.7522.