A Chesterfield attorney narrowly escaped serious injury Thursday afternoon when a gunman fired a shot at him at his law office across from the Chesterfield County courthouse.
David G. DeFazio said he was in the parking lot of the Barnes & Diehl law firm when he saw a man he had opposed in a court custody dispute. The man was holding a rifle.
“He said my name and started lifting the rifle up. I took off,” DeFazio said.
DeFazio said he ran inside the law office as the gunman fired a shot that went through a window and lodged in the wall of the firm’s lobby.
DeFazio said he ran through the building, out a side door, and into a nearby woods.
In the meantime, DeFazio was told, the gunman forced a law firm staffer to go through the office looking for him. Police apparently arrived soon after and took the man into custody.
Police said no one was hurt, but DeFazio said he thinks he may have twisted an ankle and hurt his shoulder — ailments he did not notice until the excitement wore off later.
DeFazio said the gunman was Mark Lowe, the ex-husband of a client DeFazio had represented in a custody dispute. A judge had heard the parties in court a week earlier and had just rendered his ruling on Thursday, DeFazio said.
“The good thing about this situation was it happened just a couple blocks from the police station. Our response was very, very quick,” said Chesterfield Police Lt. David Shand.
Shand said the investigation was still ongoing late Thursday afternoon, with forensic investigators at the law office.
The Chesterfield office of Barnes & Diehl was closed Thursday afternoon but was expected to reopen Friday morning, according to partner Edward D. Barnes.
-By Peter Vieth