HOUSTON -- A prosecutor in a small town east of Dallas was fatally shot Thursday morning near the local courthouse by two masked gunmen dressed in black and wearing tactical-style vests, the authorities said.
The prosecutor, Mark E. Hasse, worked in the Kaufman County district attorney's office in Kaufman, Tex., a town of 6,800 about 40 minutes outside Dallas. He was shot several times shortly before 9 a.m. as he was walking in a parking lot about a block from the county courthouse.
Kyle Bradford, a spokesman for the Highway Patrol Division of the Department of Public Safety, said two armed men got out of a Ford Taurus, opened fire on Mr. Hasse and then got back into the vehicle and left. Investigators were trying to determine why the gunmen targeted Mr. Hasse and whether the motive had anything to do with any of his criminal cases.
"It's still under investigation," said Mr. Bradford, a state trooper. "We don't have any motives at this time."
Mr. Hasse, 57, was walking to the courthouse when he was shot, officials said. He was the lead felony prosecutor for Kaufman County, and was a well-respected assistant district attorney who had received his law degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Lawyers and prosecutors throughout North Texas were stunned by the attack. The district attorney in nearby Dallas County sent an e-mail to staff members asking them to be aware of their surroundings when leaving the building.
After the shooting, the courthouse went into lockdown, as did Kaufman schools, as police officers and sheriff's deputies searched for the gunmen and their vehicle. It was unclear what type of weapons were used, but officials with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were investigating.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.