Gordon’s ex-wife: ‘He just wanted to come home’

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — Police identified Larry Darnell Gordon as the jail inmate who killed two bailiffs inside the Berrien County Courthouse on Monday.

Gordon, 44, of Coloma was being held for domestic violence charges and had a status conference scheduled for Monday afternoon, according to the court’s docket.

Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey said the suspect – who also shot and injured a deputy sheriff and civilian – was attempting to escape and was in custody on several charges. Bailey declined to provide further details on those charges during a press conference.

Joseph Fletcher, Gordon’s lawyer, could not be reached for comment.

Bailey said a deputy and a bailiff were moving Gordon from a holding cell to the courtroom when he freed himself from an officer, took his gun and began firing.

Gordon’s ex-wife, Jessica Gordon, told The Herald-Palladium she learned of his death when a chaplain and police officers showed up at her home. Jessica said she had seen news of the shooting on Facebook earlier in the day.

“He had court today, but the charges he was there for were dismissed,” Jessica said in reference to the domestic violence charge. “Those were only one of the charges he was in jail for. He was looking at more time with the other charges.”

Jessica said she spoke with Gordon on Sunday, but had no idea whether he was planning an escape.

“I believe he was terrified that he would never see me and his daughter, or the rest of his family again,” Jessica said. “I don’t believe he set out to hurt anybody. I think he just wanted to come home.”

The two divorced in February after nearly 10 years of marriage. She said they knew each other for another nine years before that. Gordon is originally from Battle Creek, Jessica said.

Gordon had a 6-year-old daughter named Cheyenne, whom he had with Jessica. Gordon had five other children and 11 grandchildren, Jessica said.

Jessica said the shooting has been hard on her and her family.

“A lot of people in the community have looked at me differently,” she said. “My heart goes out to the families of the other victims. I ask that everyone remember that we lost a family member, too.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on July 12, 2016)

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