County prosecutor killed near N. Texas courthouse

KAUFMAN, TX - An assistant district attorney was shot and killed Thursday morning near the North Texas county courthouse where he worked, and authorities said they were searching for two suspects.

The shooting occurred just before 9 a.m. outside a building across from the main Kaufman County courthouse about 33 miles southeast of Dallas. Officials didn't immediately indicate any motive for the shooting.

The courthouse was initially locked down, but that has since been lifted, county spokeswoman Pat Laney said. The name of the prosecutor was not immediately announced, pending notification of family.

Local law enforcement officials decried the shooting as an attack on the criminal justice system.

"This is the next level (of crime)," Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes said Thursday at a news conference.

Kaufman Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh said the shooting would have a major impact on the town and the county.

"Any loss of life, especially someone out there protecting the community, would have that effect," he said.

Calls to the district attorney's office Thursday were not immediately returned.

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