Around Cook County
Daniel Schlienz, 42, of Grand Marais, was charged today in St. Louis County District Court with two counts of premeditated attempted first-degree murder. The charges were made by the Minnesota Attorney General’s office.
Additionally, Schlienz was charged with one count of assault in the 4th degree, one count of possession of a dangerous weapon with ammunition within a courthouse, one count of resisting arrest and one count of possession of a weapon by a felon.
"The shooting of a prosecutor and trial witness inside a courthouse strikes at the foundation of the pillars of justice," Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said in a statement released with news of the charges. The attorney general's office is prosecuting Schlienz at the request of the Cook County attorney.
Schlienz is accused of shooting Cook County Attorney Timothy Scannell, 45, and Gregory Thompson, 53. Thompson was subpoenaed as a witness at Schlienz's trial on charges of criminal sexual conduct. Schlienz had been found guilty by a jury minutes before the shootings.
The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal reports this morning that the man accused in Thursday’s shooting and struggle in the Cook County Courthouse is remorseful for what happened.
“He knows he’s done for,” Gary Schlienz said of a conversation he had with his son, Daniel Schlienz, on Friday at the Cook County Jail in Grand Marais. “He knows there’s no getting around this.”
Daniel Schlienz, 42, of Grand Marais, is to be charged in St. Louis County District Court today with shooting two men late Thursday afternoon in a courthouse assault that followed his conviction for criminal sexual conduct.
Schlienz has been transferred to the St. Louis County Jail in Duluth.
The victims, Cook County attorney Tim Scannell, 45, and Greg Thompson, 53, of Grand Marais, who had been subpoenaed as a witness in the sexual conduct case, remained at Duluth’s Essentia Health St. Mary’s Medical Center on Saturday.
Hospital spokeswoman Beth Johnson said. Scannell was in fair condition and Thompson in good condition. Johnson said both would be in hospital at least through the weekend.
Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk said the suspect retrieved his handgun from his vehicle after the jury found him guilty of criminal sexual conduct. He then went to Scannell’s office with the loaded weapon, said Falk, adding Thompson was in the office.
Thompson was shot in the leg but was able to run out of the office. Scannell was shot while taking cover behind a counter, said Falk.
He said the suspect left the office and came across Thompson on a nearby landing. Thompson was shot again.
At that point Schlienz’s defence attorney came to Scannell’s aid.
Falk said the bailiff, Deputy Gary Radloff, 70, of Grand Marais, heard the gunshots. He cleared the jury and judge from the courtroom, and followed the sound of the shots.
Cook County Commissioner Sue Hakes has announced that the Cook County courthouse, closed after a shooting incident at approximately 4:20 p.m. on Thursday, December 15, will re-open on Tuesday, December 20. Some meeting schedules and locations have been changed.
The courthouse was closed to allow the Minnesota Bureau of Apprehension (BCA) to investigate the shooting that occurred in the county attorney’s office at the conclusion of a criminal sexual conduct case. The defendant in that trial, Daniel Sidney Schlienz, 42, was arrested at the scene of the shooting. He is now incarcerated at Cook County jail. Charges will be announced on Monday, December 19.
Injured in the incident were two shooting victims—County Attorney Tim Scannell and a subpoenaed witness in the trial that had just ended, Greg Thompson. Cook County Sheriff Deputy/Court Bailiff Gary Radloff was injured in a struggle with Schlienz, as was Assistant County Attorney Molly Hicken. They were transported to Cook County North Shore Hospital in Grand Marais where they were treated and released.
Scannell and Thompson were transported by Cook County Ambulance to Essentia Health Medical Center in Duluth, MN, arriving at approximately 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., respectively. At the press conference, Sheriff Falk said at the time of transport, both men were conscious and talking.
Contacted by phone on December 16, Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center spokeswoman Beth Johnson confirmed the injuries reported. Tim Scannell was shot three times—twice in the abdomen, once in the groin area. He underwent surgery at 9 p.m. and came through surgery well. Johnson said his condition is “fair.”
On Friday, December 16, the MN Department of Public Safety, along with the Cook County Sheriff's Office and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension held a press conference following the shooting at the Cook County Courthouse on Thursday, December 15.
Video by Stephan Hoglund.
At approximately 4:20 p.m. this afternoon, calls were made to Cook County Law Enforcement reporting a shooting at the Cook County courthouse. Sheriff Deputies and State Patrol Officers responded and confirmed that shots had been fired in the Cook County attorney’s office on the second floor. Three Cook County ambulances came to the scene. Two victims were transported, according to Sheriff Mark Falk who said he could release no further details at this time.
One ambulance is on the way to a Duluth hospital at this time.
According to witnesses, an individual was taken into custody. All of the people at the courthouse at the time of the shooting are being held there to give witness statements and the courthouse is closed to the public.