DALLAS — Attorney Pete Schulte said the murder of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland is "unprecedented."
Speaking on News 8 Daybreak, Schulte — who has handled cases in Kaufman County and who knew McLelland personally — said this case coupled with the January 31 shooting death of Kaufman County prosecutor Mark Hasse is sending shock waves through the legal and law enforcement communities.
"This is unprecedented," Schulte said. "I can't remember a time when an elected DA — especially in a county as small as Kaufman — has been assassinated, and that's what we're facing this morning."
Schulte said he is convinced that the deaths of McLelland and Hasse are linked.
"I think it's pretty obvious," he said. "Why would you go after the assistant district attorney in Kaufman County and then — less than two months later — you go after the elected? I think they have to be related. I think anybody who's watching the news would have to say there's a link somewhere. We're hoping our law enforcement officials find it quickly.
Last summer, someone shot out the windows of Schulte's Dallas office. Is it possible he was also being targeted?
"The rounds were similar rounds that were used in this shooting," he said, but added that Dallas police were unable to develop a lot of leads and that case also remains unsolved.
Schulte said that the Hasse and McLelland cases are likely to make anyone thinking of a career in law enforcement or the criminal law step back and reconsider.
"It's going to have a chilling effect on people who do want to step into those roles and start arming themselves," he said. "I mean, that's the risk that we're going to face now because of this happening. It's never happened before that I know of in Texas."