Mark Hasse, a Texas prosecutor, was shot to death Thursday morning in what was described as a targeted attack, according to law enforcement officials in Kaufman County. Hasse was an assistant district attorney for Kaufman County which borders Dallas.
Hasse had no idea he was starting off anything but a routine day when he walked from the parking lot toward the county courthouse around 8 a.m. today in Kaufman.
Hasse parked his vehicle in the parking lot behind the courthouse. He exited the automobile and was shot several times by a masked gunman as he walked across the parking lot, according to Kaufman County authorities today.
Hasse was shot several times before he reached the courthouse on his way to work. He was rushed to a hospital where he died, according to officials.
Hasse, 57, was praised by Dallas Assistant District Attorney Ted Steinke who supervised him while he worked in the Dallas County District Attorney's Office. Steinke said, "Juries loved him and he exuded confidence." Steinke said he couldn't recall a North Texas prosecutor being slain in the past 20 years although "all prosecutors receive death threats."
Steinke also praised Hasse has being "the consummate prosecutor" and a hard worker.
Hasse worked for the Kaufman DA's Office since July of 2010.
Kaufman County Criminal District Attorney Mike McLelland said, "We suffered a devastating loss today. We lost a really, really good man. He was an excellent friend and a stellar prosecutor. He will not be easily replaced. He will be sorely missed by everybody in the office."
After offering those complimentary words for his fallen colleague, the district attorney issued a warning to the person or persons responsible for Hasse's death, saying, "I hope that the people who did this are watching because we are very confident that we are going to find you, pull you out of whatever hole you're in, bring you back and let the people of Kaufman County prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law."
Chief of Police Chris Aulbaugh said no official arrests have been made in the case. The killer or killers are still roaming loose somewhere.
The law enforcement community is banding together on this one as the Texas Rangers, State Troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the FBI and ATF are involved in the investigation.
Kaufman law enforcement is also involved.
Law enforcement has requested public co-operation in the investigation of the shocking case.
A $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter or shooters is being offered to the public for help in solving this unspeakable crime.
Those with information are requested to call Kaufman County Crime Stoppers at 1-877-TIPS-KCC.
Witnesses have said two shooters wearing all black, one or both wearing a tactical-type vest and driving an older, silver Ford Taurus were involved in the cowardly murder.
Aulbaugh did warn that police have not yet confirmed there were two people involved in the shooting.
Doug Lowe, a prosecutor in neighboring Anderson County, said this was a reminder that assistant DA's deal with some very bad people during the course of their work. Lowe said he plans to carry his gun with him in the future.
Hasse was investigating a case involving the Aryan Brotherhood, according to an article in the New York Times newspaper today.
Kaufman authorities said he handled murder and drug cases also.
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