Delaware courthouse shooter obtained gun despite felony kidnapping conviction; Correction: Wrong name apparently leaked to press

[Editor’s note: Please scroll down for updates. It appears that the media misidentified David T. Matusiewicz as the shooter.]

As Twitchy reported earlier, there was a fatal shooting in a Delaware courthouse this morning.

Media outlets are reporting there was one gunman: David T. Matusiewicz of Middletown, Delaware.

Matusiewicz, who was killed by police at the scene, has a criminal history.

Judge Sentences Defendant David Matusiewicz to 48 Months’ Imprisonment on International Parental Kidnapping and Bank Fraud Counts

David C. Weiss, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced that David Matusiewicz, age 42, formerly of Middletown, was sentenced today by United States District Court Chief Judge Gregory M. Sleet to 48 months of imprisonment and a five-year term of supervised release. Mr. Matusiewicz had previously pled guilty on September 3, 2009 to one count of bank fraud and one count of international parental kidnapping [a felony].

According to documents filed in court and statements made during the proceedings, in August 2007, Mr. Matusiewicz obtained a $249,000 home equity line of credit from WSFS Bank, a federally insured financial institution, through fraud. Mr. Matusiewicz was informed by the bank that both he and his ex-wife, C.M., were required to sign various closing documents in order for this line of credit to be approved by WSFS Bank. On August 15, 2007, Mr. Matusiewicz arranged to meet with a WSFS bank representative at Mr. Matusiewicz’s office, in order to sign the closing documents. Mr. Matusiewicz did not tell the bank representative, who believed that the defendant and his ex-wife were still married, that the two were in fact divorced. Instead, Mr. Matusiewicz signed the closing documents and falsely and fraudulently indicated that C.M. was in another room at the office, when in fact C.M. was not present in the office that day. Mr. Matusiewicz then left the room, and later returned, presenting the bank representative with the closing documents, on which he had forged or caused to be forged C.M.’s signature and initials. After obtaining the approximately $249,000 in funds regarding the home equity line of credit, Mr. Matusiewicz transferred those funds to an overseas bank account in New Zealand.

Days after committing the above-described fraud, Mr. Matusiewicz kidnapped his three children, L.M., L.M. and K.M. and removed them from the United States. Mr. Matusiewicz, along with his mother, traveled with the children in a motor home through Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Federal and State of Delaware law enforcement authorities, including the New Castle County Police Department, the United States Marshal’s Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of State, the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware, the United States Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs, and law enforcement officers in Australia, New Zealand and Nicaragua, then participated in a 19-month investigation to locate the defendant and his children and to investigate the defendant’s crimes.

In March 2009, deputy United States Marshals from the District of Delaware located and arrested the defendant in Nicaragua and reunited the children with their mother. Among other documents found on the defendant’s person or in the motor home at the time of his arrest were numerous false identification documents containing his and his children’s pictures—including false Social Security cards and false passports.

While a fugitive, Matusiewicz was featured on America’s Most Wanted.

Typically, convicted felons who are on supervised release aren’t able to obtain guns legally. It will be interesting to see how Matusiewicz obtained his gun.

And it isn’t the first time something like this has happened. The Virginia Tech shooter, Seung Hui Cho, was able to obtain guns after being declared mentally ill by a judge.

It is difficult for us to place much faith in the efficacy of new gun laws when existing gun laws are so ineffective.


Some outlets are reporting that the shooter was, in fact, Thomas Matusiewicz, father of David Matusiewicz. Information is still conflicting.

We will continue to monitor this story as it develops.

Update, 2/12/2013:

The Associated Press reports that David Matusiewicz is is custody on a “federal probation technicality.” The gunman’s name has not been released by authorities, but police have confirmed the shooter is dead. reports that the shooter was Thomas Matusiewicz. While that has not been confirmed by police, it appears that initial media reports IDing his son, David Matusiewicz, as the killer were incorrect.


  • Lexikin

    “It is difficult for us to place much faith in the efficacy of new gun laws when existing gun laws are so ineffective.”


    • Luke Givens

      Oh ok, let’s throw our hands up in the air instead and not enforce any laws because criminals sometimes manage to thwart them!

      • carla5731

        That’s the Obama Administration’s policy toward illegal immigrants.

      • SineWaveII

        I thought that’s what we were doing. We don’t enforce immigration law even after 9/11 and an explicit promise from the government to crack down and enforce those laws.
        We’re giving up on the war on drugs.
        Police all over the country are informing citizens that they won’t even show up unless it’s a violent crime. They don’t enforce property laws, like vandalism and property theft and the list goes on and on.
        Criminals don’t obey laws. So the idea that a law will ever stop a criminal without additional hardcore enforcement is ridiculous at best.

      • J. Cox

        Your argument suggest that putting yet another law on the books would have stopped this.Doing something for the sake of saying you did something even when you know the results will amount to a pile of crap fixes what?I tell you what…you come guard my house 24/7,and show me that the government of this country will never turn on its citizens…actual proof mind you..and I will give up my guns.Until that happens…how about you focus on keeping criminals in jail for more than a week and enforcing existing laws and leave me and mine the hell alone.

      • Patrick Dennehy

        No. I am saying we don’t need new laws, the current laws are just fine, they just need to actually be enforced

      • Corey Dennison

        Oh ok, let’s throw our hands up in the air instead and not enforce any laws

        Where did anyone suggest that?

        • Noah Lee

          i suggest we throw our hands in the air and wave them around like we just don’t care.

    • $41341954

      I understand where Twitchy is coming from, but I wholeheartedly disagree with this logic. In my opinion, it sounds like an argument for gun control.

      God forbid this guy purchased a gun from a private seller, because you know the next argument is that private sales will be outlawed as a measure of keeping guns away from criminals.

      • Firebrand98

        And you prevent this how? You going to watch every house, every garage, every parking lot?

        • Hiraghm

          sure, haven’t you heard about the “Healthy Home” initiative?

      • Ms Anonymous

        Convicted felons are not allowed to possess firearms. This guy broke the law, once again, when he obtained that firearm. Tell me how you’re going to get people who refuse to obey the law to comply with firearms regulations?

        • Hiraghm

          That’s something in the law that needs corrected. IF a convicted felon serves his full sentence, then all of his rights should (must) be restored to him.

          • OurLivesMatterToo

            This is not accurate. Only felon offenders who are afforded ‘First Offender’ treatment can have their records theoretically erased. But only from employers and other non-criminal justice entities. If you complete ‘First Offender’ sentencing and treatment, you are entitled to possess firearms.

        • $35072932

          What is truly amazing is that either Proppressives aren’t intelligent enough to know criminals don’t obey the law OR they don’t care and they know that they are just punishing the innocent.

          • rogueco

            Thank you for the term “Proppressives”. My new favorite!

          • $35072932

            As I interpret the word, its a combination of the words Pro (meaning in favor of) and oppression or oppressive.

            Meaning someone in favor of oppressive policies.

            Someone posted it on another site.

        • $41341954

          I think you guys are misunderstanding my point. Obviously criminals are going to break the law (which is the definition of criminal). This would just be the left’s excuse to regulate private gun sales. It’s easy to convince the uninformed public that private gun sales are bad provided that is what occurred in this situation.

          • $41341954

            Furthermore, it’s an excuse to further regulate gun ownership, which I think we all agree that that isn’t good.

      • Canadian in USA

        Problem is, if somebody’s decided to commit the ultimate act of murder using a gun, some law about not owning or banning guns won’t stop them.

      • dmacleo

        worst school killings in US history done with a car bomb.
        laws only apply to law abiding people. criminals will ALWAYS violate them.
        20k or so laws already, will 20k +1 work?
        or +2?
        whats the magic number?
        it just won’t work. when criminals are scared of death from their activities maybe then we’ll be safe.

        • SpinMeNot

          Your point is valid, however, I believe the worst school killing in US history was in Bath, Michigan and it was a bombing.

          • dmacleo

            yeah a car bomb. thought I had corrected that before but see it didn’t take.

          • SpinMeNot

            Ah, fair enough — just trying to see if I had the chance to learn something new.

            EDIT: And I did, I did not know it was a car bomb.

          • SpinMeNot

            Ah, fair enough — just trying to see if I had the chance to learn something new.

            EDIT: And I did, I did not know it was a car bomb.

    • Elaine

      Again proves you can NOT regulate behavior…

  • o0Nighthawk0o

    Twitter was abuzz this morning with the gun control freaks touting this tragic event as a reason to further their agenda. Amazing how fast they shut up when it became known that the shooter was a convicted felon in possession of a gun.

  • NatesMama1128

    FYI, local news here is reporting that the man’s father, Thomas, was the shooter. Not David.

  • NatesMama1128
  • lindaph

    OMG…I didn’t know that’s who the shooter was till I saw this twitchy post on my FB. I followed that story because it was local. I thought he was locked up for good!! Wow..those poor kids, first he kidnaps them and lies to them about their mother, then they come home to her and now he does this!!! I’m stunned and feeling so sad for these kids losing their mother..

  • Hiraghm

    “The Virginia Tech shooter, Seung Hui Cho, was able to obtain guns after being declared mentally ill by a judge.”

    There’s nothing in the Constitution that says you can’t keep and bear arms because a *judge* says you’re mentally ill.
    If doctors declare you incompetent, then you lose your rights.

    • NachoCheese (D)

      Which is exactly what the judge in the Cho case decided. The judge weighed the medical evidence presented by doctors and codified their medical opinion in a legal ruling on his mental capacity.

      • Hiraghm

        Nope. No judge can say whether you’re mentally ill or not. This isn’t the Soviet Union.

  • Maxx

    They “banned” drinking and driving and yet, 13,000 +/- die each year from drunk drivers. You can’t legislate the crazy out of the crazies. The sad cost of a free republic is an acknowledgment , however tragic, that bad people do bad things but a segment of a nation that wants to penalize law abiding citizenry for the actions of criminals are quite possibly, more dangerous to the republic than the criminals themselves.

    • SpinMeNot

      Your point about acceptance is on-target. However progressives don’t accept anything they don’t like — they have to change it to something they do like. The problem is they rarely, if ever, think through the consequences.

      As the progressives continue to indoctrinate our children, this sort of thing is going to become more and more common, IMHO. When you have no respect for yourself, have been taught you are a victim, and that you deserve the property of others .. well, as I’ve said in the past …

      “They idiot flying the plane has informed us that there will be a great deal of turbulence on our way to the big hole we are going to dig.”

  • peteee363

    but also seeing how he was using the gun in an illegal manner, also prooves he is/was not a responsible gun owner. so he broke yet another law, or two by bringing it to court, and using it. so it seems another useless law would not have prevented what happened today.

  • thepoliticalchef

    Reblogged this on Thepoliticalchef's Blog and commented:
    Wow, so those gun control laws are going to work HOW exactly? You see criminals don’t follow the law…law abiding citizens do. So gun-control punishes law abiding citizens, not criminals they will remain unaffected…morons…

  • Garth Haycock

    How can this be? Libs say gun control works!

  • theboogeyman

    On the contrary, the fact that this felon was able to get a gun as well as the Virginia Tech shooter shows how many holes our background check system has, and how much work we have to make it keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. If all states were sharing mental health info the way they should, Seung Hui Cho would not have purchased his guns. Yes, I agree, it will be very interesting to see how Thomas Matusiewicz got his guns, and if he got them legally, the NRA has more blood on its hands.

    • Corey Dennison


    • mike_in_kosovo

      “The NRA has more blood on it’s hands.”