June 12, 2006

Nevada judge shot in his chambers

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A Nevada family court judge was
shot and wounded in the chest on Monday while working in his
chambers in Reno and a manhunt for the shooter was underway, a
police officer said.

Judge Chuck Weller, who typically oversees child custody
and divorce cases, was in his office on the third floor of the
Washoe County Courthouse in downtown Reno when he was shot at
11:06 a.m., either from outside or inside the building, officer
Fred Rigelsberger said.

"We have one confirmed shot," he said. "He was wounded in
the chest."

A woman in his office was also injured, perhaps by
shattered glass, said Steve Frady, a spokesman for the city of
Reno. The woman, Annie Allison, an administrative assistant to
the judge, was in the office during the incident and suffered
superficial wounds, Frady said.

Rigelsberger said it was possible the shot came from a
building across the street, adding that the exterior window in
the judge's office was shattered.

He said the judge was taken to an area hospital, where he
was conscious and talking with his family.

Heavily armed police officers sealed and searched the local
courthouse and surrounding area, known for its casinos and
hotels, and were still looking for the shooter. City spokesman
Frady said a three-by-five block area had been closed off
during the search.

Formerly a private attorney specializing in family law,
Weller was elected to a six-year term as a judge in 2004. A
graduate of Georgetown University Law School, he also hosted a
local legal affairs advice radio program from 1989 to 2002.