Victims in Cook County Courthouse Shooting Recall Tragedy

By KBJR News 1

November 24, 2012 Updated Nov 24, 2012 at 11:48 PM CDT

Grand Marais, MN (NNCNOW.COM) --- It's been nearly a year since a frightening shooting rampage at the Courthouse in Grand Marais.
Several victims fought for their lives, when Daniel Schlienz pulled a gun and fired several shots following his trial.

Many of those victims are speaking out now about the day that changed their lives forever.

"It was obvious to me that Dan Schlienz wanted to shoot Tim Scannel until he was dead," Molly Hicken, Assistant Cook County Attorney said.

After being found guilty of criminal sexual conduct in an incident involving a 16-year-old girl, Daniel Schlienz went on a shooting rampage, the night of Dec. 15, 2011.

"I heard the shots and I started to scream," Hicken said.

Those involved say the events happened within less than 10 minutes.

"He has shot the victim's father and he was on the stair well, he was laying there and he started yelling and screaming, at the same time he goes into the county attorney's office door, Mr. Schlienz, the bailiff comes out with his gun draw from the courtroom," John Lillie, Schlienz's defense attorney said.

After Schlienz shot Greg Thompson, a witness in his trial, he shot Cook County Attorney Tim Scannel in the chest, narrowly missing his heart.

He then shot Thompson a second time and forced his way into Cook County Attorney, Molly Hicken's office, where Scannel was fighting for his life.

"I began to wonder what it would be like to be dead, and I wanted to do everything I could to stop that and I wanted to do everything I could to stop him from killing Tim," Hicken said.

Schlienz shot Scannel twice more, in the groin and leg, narrowly missing his femoral artery.

Hicken and Cook County Sheriff's Deputy Gary Radloff, fought with Schlienz for control of the gun.

They were able to disarm him but Schlienz then grabbed the deputy's weapon.

"We could not keep traction on the carpet because the carpet was soaked with blood, it was slippery," Hicken said.

Eventually, the two were able to contain Schlienz in the office until outside authorities arrived.

As the scuffle took place in the office Scannel was able to crawl away.

Schlinz's Defense Attorney, John Lillie was able to get the wounded witness to safety.

On his way back into the courthouse Lillie found Scannel in the hallway, losing blood quickly.

"He kept saying the same things over and over again," Lillie said. "I tried to calm him down, he was in shock. He couldn't hear me. He was saying the same things over and over again. I'm hurt, I'm shot, I'm dying. I need help, someone help me."

Scannel and Thompson were treated at St. Mary's Essentia Medical Center in Duluth.

Deputy Radloff suffered a laceration to his right hand while Hicken was lucky to suffer only bruises and scratches.

As all of this was going on the judge in the case, Mark Munger moved to keep everyone else safe.

"I instructed Gary to lock down the doors, I got the jurors out of there into the jury room which we then locked," Judge Munger said.

Schlienz was charged with two counts of attempted murder but died in a Duluth hospital after developing flu-like symptoms in the St. Louis County Jail.

Since the incident, the cook county court house has taken significant steps to make the facility safer.

Jennifer Walch
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