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Press conference held on Wheeling Federal Building Shooting, more details, motives revealed

October 31, 2013
Times Leader

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld held a press conference in Wheeling on Thursday to "fill in the gaps" in the Wheeling Federal Building shooting investigation.

Officials gave a timeline of events, and talked about the evidence recovered from the shooter's home and car. While authorities still don't believe Tom Piccard targeted a specific person or office in the building, after reviewing the building's layout and design, authorities made it clear Thursday that court security officers were right in the line of fire.

Ihlenfeld said the first shots were fired at 2:43 p.m. on the afternoon of October 9. The first 911 call went out at 2:44 p.m., and drug task force agents arrived on scene at 2:47 p.m.. At 2:49 p.m., 911 was alerted that the subject was "down." At 2:50, it was confirmed that Piccard was injured and in custody.

Officials said Thursday that Piccard was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

From the autopsy report, officials were able to determine that Piccard was fatally wounded by a shot to the chest, and a bullet lodged in his right rib cage. The autopsy showed damage to Piccard's arm, heart and lungs, according to Ihlenfeld.

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger said the Wheeling Officer who fatally shot Piccard remains on administrative duties. The chief also said that since the time of the shooting, the departments focus has been on the mental health of the first responders.

In regard to a motive, Ihlenfeld highlighted three important points. First, the writings found on Piccard's trailer and on his person, which indicated a deep hatred for the federal government. Second, Piccard had recently "had his heart broken" by a woman he cared deeply about. Third, Piccard was suffering from medical problems, though no specific medical diagnosis has been available.

 
 

 

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