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Texas District Attorney Shot, Killed In Front Of Courthouse

An assistant district attorney in North Texas was shot and killed as he arrived at the courthouse where he worked on Thursday.

The Associated Press reports:

"Mark Hasse, 57, had exited his vehicle in the parking lot behind the Kaufman County Courthouse annex and was walking toward the building when he was shot multiple times just before 9 a.m., said Kaufman County spokeswoman Pat Laney. Hasse was taken away in an ambulance, but Laney did not know if he died at the hospital or en route.

"Investigators were searching for two suspects believed to have fled in an older model Ford Taurus either brown or silver in color. Officials didn't immediately indicate any motive for the shooting in Kaufman, located about 33 miles southeast of Dallas."

The Dallas Morning News reports that Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said an arrest had been made in the case. But Kaufman County authorities did not reveal an arrest during a press conference.

The Morning News says that Hasse survived a plane crash, 17 years ago.

The paper adds:

"Hasse was piloting the lead plane in a cross-country convoy commemorating the end of World War II when it crashed in 1995. Morey Darzniek, who survived the crash with Hasse, said Hasse was 'an incredible person in every way. He had the right moral standards.'

"Hasse suffered a skull fracture but recovered enough to resume the practice of law and continued flying."

The Kaufman Herald quotes Sheriff David A. Byrnes as saying that this "is worse than shooting a police officer."

"I mean, I know we're not indispensable, but this is like an attack on society," Byrnes said.

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