Early this morning, veteran Kaufman, Tex. County prosecutor Mark E. Hasse, pictured above, was walking across an employee parking lot near the courthouse there like he probably has countless of times. But today was different: at least one gunman hopped out of a Ford Taurus and murdered him in broad daylight before speeding off. Witnesses described a scene that seemed ripped straight from a million generic Hollywood films: the assailants were wearing masks, vests and all-black clothing.
Now, policemen in the town just southeast of Dallas will try and unravel who ordered the hit. According to the AP, Hasse once served as the chief of the organized crime division of the Dallas County district attorney's office, so there's likely a litany of possibilities. One, though, sticks out due to recency:
Kaufman County prosecutors have been involved in investigations of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas prison gang. In November, federal officials in Houston thanked a number of local agencies for their work - including Kaufman County prosecutors - when more than 30 senior leaders and other members of the gang were indicted on federal racketeering charges.
Someone somewhere got their man this morning, but "state prosecutor" would be very, very low on a list of people that one could safely assassinate in front of a bunch of witnesses. Good luck (well, not really) to whoever's trying to get away with this one.
[via NY Times, image via AP]