BEAUMONT, Texas – The 79-year-old victim of a gunman who opened fire at the Jefferson County Courthouse Wednesday morning was taking a friend to the VA Office when she was killed, family members said.
Minnie Seabolt died on the steps of the courthouse after police say Bartholomew Granger, a 41-year-old Houston man on trial for aggravated sexual assault of a child, went on a shooting rampage.
Seabolt’s family was struggling Thursday to make sense of the crime.
"I want everybody to know that he took a ray of sunshine away, and the amount of people that she has impacted, and will not have that love and that strength anymore," Deborah Holst, Seabolt’s daughter, said.
"I don’t think she’d have a grudge. I think she would just say, ‘You know, it’s my time to go. I’m with my son, both my husbands, all her brothers and sisters that passed before her,’" Leslie Ross, Seabolt’s granddaughter, said.
Though Seabolt was the only person who died Wednesday, three others were also shot.
Two of the victims have since been released from the hospital.
The other, Granger’s 20-year-old daughter, remained in critical condition Thursday. Police said her father not only shot her multiple times, but also ran over her with his pickup truck.
She was a witness in his sexual assault trial, which was set to resume Wednesday afternoon.
In the wake of the 40-minute rampage, residents of Beaumont were in shock.
"I think a lot of people are saddened that there were innocent bystanders … just a tragic situation," Leslie Brown said.
Brown, who works inside the courthouse, said she’ll never forget when the phone rang Wednesday morning, and she got the chilling message.
"We got a call to lock everything down, because there had been a shooting," she recalled.
"If that individual loses his mind or goes loco, no matter if it’s here or Mayberry, it’s gonna be the same reaction," Sylvester Lindsey, a Beaumont resident, said.
Now, the man police say is responsible for all of the horror is not only charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child.
He’s charged with murder.
Granger was being held in the Jefferson County Jail on $4 million bond.