Prosecutor: Berrien Co. Courthouse shooter held teen in shed for sex


ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (WOOD) – The suspect who shot and killed two bailiffs was facing several serious charges for criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping involving a teen girl, according to the Berrien County prosecutor.

Wednesday, neighbors learned along with everyone else that a 17-year-old girl was held for roughly two weeks in a shed on Larry Gordon’s Coloma Township property where he lived with his ex-wife.

“Somewhat horrified, but actually I had a feeling that, uh it’s an uncomfortable feeling,” one neighbor who didn’t want to be identified said about Gordon.

Neighbors tell 24 Hour News 8 Gordon and his ex-wife moved into the Coloma neighborhood a few years ago and Gordon put out a weird vibe.

“I had my granddaughter over here helping and he was ogling her and she felt uncomfortable and told me about it,” a neighbor said.

On April 20 police were looking for Larry Gordon, who was wanted on an outstanding warrant for domestic violence.

When officers arrived at the home on Tannery Road, in Coloma Township they noticed a light on in a shed on the property and saw Gordon. He barricaded himself inside, but was able to escape through a back access door. He was later located several streets away hiding under a porch, the release said.

Police then discovered a 17-year-old girl in the shed where Gordon had barricaded himself.

“The 17-year-old had been held against her will by Gordon for approximately two weeks. He gave her methamphetamine in exchange for sex, forced some penetrations, and assaulted her with weapons, and assault by strangulation. He also video recorded the sexual activity,” according to the release from Berrien County Prosecutor Michael Sepic.

The Coloma Police Chief says the teen was not abducted. She knew Gordon through a mutual friend.

Neighbors 24 Hour News 8 spoke to say they never saw or heard anything strange from the shed.

After further investigation, authorities discovered a similar incident involving Gordon and a 16-year-old in 2006 in Berrien County, according to the prosecutor’s office. He had not yet been charged in that case.

In the case involving the 17-year-old girl Gordon was facing the following charges:

  •         5 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct
  •         1 count of kidnapping
  •         3 counts of production of child sexually abusive material
  •         Possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine
  •         1 count of three-degree criminal sexual conduct
  •         1 count of unlawful imprisonment
  •         2 counts of assault by strangulation
  •         1 count of assault with a dangerous weapon
  •         2 counts of resisting and obstructing a police officer
  •         Misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and malicious destruction of building
  •         Fourth habitual offender

Due to his more serious charges, the original domestic violence charge was being dismissed in court on Monday when police say Gordon, 44, overpowered a deputy and took his gun while handcuffed before firing shots at the Berrien County Courthouse.

Bailiffs Joseph Zangaro and Ronald Kienzle were killed and Berrien County deputy James Atterberry Jr. was shot in the arm. A woman was also wounded. Gordon was then shot and killed by an officer.

Gordon had also previously been convicted of possession of a pipe bomb in 1992 and 1998, three-degree fleeing and eluding in Barry County in 1998, a felon in possession of a firearm in 2002 and larceny in a Berrien County building in 2013, according to the Berrien County prosecutor.

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