Minn. courthouse gunman went after prosecutor

Published 7:26 am Sunday, December 18, 2011

GRAND MARAIS — Moments after a jury found him guilty on a sex charge, a former boxer retrieved a loaded gun from his car, marched back into a small courthouse in a remote northern Minnesota town and shot the prosecutor and a witness in his case, leaving both men bloodied and screaming for help.

Daniel Schlienz, 42, of Grand Marais, was held Friday in the shootings and could be charged Monday, said Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk. Both victims, including County Attorney Tim Scannell, survived but remained hospitalized.

The shooting happened about 4:15 p.m. Thursday, after a jury convicted Schlienz on one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under 16 and acquitted him on another criminal sex count. Schlienz wasn’t taken into custody, and Falk said there was no indication he might do something violent.

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Schlienz went into a conference room with his mother and attorney to talk about what would happen next.

After a few minutes, Schlienz “just kind of got up and left,” said defense attorney John Lillie III.

Then Lillie heard a loud bang, followed by muffled yelling. After a second shot rang out, Lillie knew he was hearing gunfire.