Society

Shooting of Kaufman County DA Mike McLelland and Wife Called a 'Targeted' Murder

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

Officials are calling the shooting deaths of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife a “targeted” killing.

McLelland, 63, and his wife Cynthia, 65, were found dead in their Forney, Texas home Saturday night, two months after one of his top deputies was gunned down on his way to the county courthouse.

"It appears this was not a random act,” Forney Mayor Darren Rozell said, urging 40,000 area residents to remain calm.

"Everybody's a little on edge and a little shocked," Rozell told The Associated Press on Sunday.

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McLelland took extra precautions after Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was assassinated on Jan. 31 by two unknown gunmen. McLelland, a 23-year Army veteran, carried a gun and was weary about answering the door at his home, 20 miles outside Dallas.

"I'm ahead of everybody else because, basically, I'm a soldier," he said just two weeks before his death.

The couple was reportedly getting ready for bed when an unknown assailant with an assault rifle shot Cynthia McLelland once in her front room and Mike McLelland multiple times in the hallway.

“He was visible and personable, and he had a great sense of humor,” Rozell spoke of McLelland, who was elected DA in 2010. “We need to continue to pray for the McLelland family.” 

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No arrests have been made in this case, nor in the murder case of Hasse.

Authorities are increasing security at the Kaufman County Courthouse Monday. Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes did not explain how they would protect other attorneys in McLelland’s office.

These murders follow on the heels of the shooting of a Colorado prison chief by a white supremacist convict.

In an interview with the Associated Press, McLelland himself expressed concern that Hasse was gunned down by a white supremacist gang. His office had handled white supremacy cases before and those gangs have a strong presence there.

Sources: CBS News, NY Daily News