Weather Updates

Courthouse shooter in W.Va. had cancer: neighbors

Article Extras
Story Image

WHEELING, W.Va. — Neighbors of a former police officer who fired at a federal courthouse in West Virginia before being killed say the man had recently revealed he had cancer.

Security remained tight at the courthouse in Wheeling on Thursday while investigators tried to find out why the man fired up to two dozen shots at the building before officers returned fire and killed him.

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger identified the gunman as 55-year-old Thomas J. Piccard, of Bridgeport, Ohio. He was a former Wheeling police officer who left the force in 2000.

While investigators have yet to reveal a motive, trailer park residents Mahlon Shields and Lori LeMasters said Piccard had disclosed in the past few days that he had stomach cancer.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.