crimesider

Defendant in sexual misconduct trial allegedly open fires in court, injures prosecutor and 2 others

Daniel Schlienz
CBS Minnesota
(CBS/AP) GRAND MARAIS, Minn. - A defendant in a sexual misconduct trial allegedly opened fire in a small northern Minnesota courthouse Thursday afternoon, injuring three people - including the local prosecutor.

State Public Safety spokesman Doug Neville said 42-year-old Daniel Schlienz was immediately taken into custody after the shootings at the Cook County Courthouse in Grand Marais, a small town near the Canadian border.

Cook County prosecutor Timothy Scannell was undergoing surgery Thursday night for multiple gunshot wounds, authorities said. Scannell and another hospitalized victim were conscious and talking before being taken to the hospital. A third victim was treated and released.

Schlienz, who had been on trial when he began shooting Thursday, was being charged with sexual misconduct. His father told the Duluth News Tribune that he went to the courthouse and was told that his son was the shooter.

"He hated the prosecuting attorney that did this," Gary Schliez said. "I don't want to make excuses for him, but they prosecuted him pretty bad. He had no job, no money, nothing."

The Duluth News Tribune reported Gary Schlienz saying his son's mother, Ginger Berglund, was in the courthouse during the shooting and attempted to take the gun away from him.

"He didn't think of anybody else at the time, I'm sure," Gary Schlienz said.

He said the prosecution had taken an intense toll on his son, Daniel had recently threatened suicide.

Online state court records listed several cases involving the former boxer Daniel Schlienz in the last 20 years, but most were minor traffic cases. There were a few serious charges, including fleeing a police officer and the criminal sexual conduct case, which was filed in 2006.

A county official said the courthouse doesn't have metal detectors and visitors aren't usually searched when they enter the building, Cook County Commissioner Fritz Sobanja said.

"As far as I know, there's no checking for knives or any of that stuff," he said.

Gary Schlienz said he didn't know how his son was able to obtain the gun. He said that when Daniel pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct in 2006, he went to his son's home, took his guns, and put them in a safe in his home.

"I apologize to everybody for this and I wish to God it hadn't happened," his father said.

Schlienz said he checked the guns today, and none were taken.

  • Katie Wiggin

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