Sniper commits suicide after killing 2 in American Moscow

A sniper sprayed dozens of bullets at a courthouse in an attack that left an officer dead and two wounded, including a civilian yesterday.

He then hid in a nearby church for several hours before police stormed in and found his body and another man's inside, police said.

The shooting began late Saturday, killing an officer and injuring another and a civilian, said David Duke, Moscow's assistant police chief. Duke said the attack was apparently an ambush, with the gunman firing into the Latah County courthouse to lure people into his line of fire.

Around 6 a.m., three SWAT teams entered the First Presbyterian Church and found the two bodies on the main floor but not in the same room, Duke said. An automatic assault rifle, ammunition and spent shells were found with one of the men, he said.

The shooter died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Duke said. His body was found in the church sanctuary, and the body of another man was found in the church office. Officials did not release either man's name.

Duke identified the slain officer as Lee Newbill, who had served with the Moscow police department since March 2001 and was the first city officer ever killed in the line of duty. He had died by the time he arrived at a local hospital, Duke said.

The wounded officer, Latah County Sheriff's Deputy Brannon Jordon, was in serious condition with multiple gunshot wounds, Duke said. The injured civilian was undergoing surgery and was in stable condition, the AP reports.

Police believe the gunman, who appeared to be in his 20s or 30s, initially began shooting at the sheriff's dispatch center from a parking lot near the Moscow courthouse, shortly before 11:30 p.m. Saturday (2:30 a.m. ET).

Officer Lee Newbill and Deputy Brannon Jordan responded to the shooting and came under fire, Duke said.

In less than an hour, both men and a civilian bystander had been wounded.

All three were taken to Gritman Medical Center in Moscow.

Newbill, who joined the police department in 2001, died at the hospital hours later -- the first Moscow police officer to be killed in the line of duty, Duke said.

Jordan and the civilian were listed in serious condition, a statement from the hospital said.

Initial reports put the number of rounds fired at 30 to 40. Duke said he did not know how many shots were fired, but that it was a "large number."

The last gunshot was heard around 1 a.m.

Moscow , home to the University of Idaho, is a city of about 21,000 residents in the state's northwestern section, CNN reports.

Source: agencies

Prepared by Alexander Timoshik

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Author`s name Alex Naumov