Neighbors: Ex-cop killed in W.Va. had cancer

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — Neighbors of a former police officer who fired at a federal courthouse in West Virginia before being killed say the man had recently revealed he had cancer.

Security remained tight at the courthouse in Wheeling on Thursday while investigators tried to find out why the man fired up to two dozen shots at the building before officers returned fire and killed him.

Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger identified the gunman as 55-year-old Thomas J. Piccard, of Bridgeport, Ohio. He was a former Wheeling police officer who left the force in 2000.

While investigators have yet to reveal a motive, trailer park residents Mahlon Shields and Lori LeMasters said Piccard had disclosed in the past few days that he had stomach cancer. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, racial slurs or consistent name calling will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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