presiding judge of 390th Criminal District Court julie kocurek travis county texas
presiding judge of 390th Criminal District Court julie kocurek travis county texas


Julie Kocurek, a state district judge in Texas, was returning to her West Austin home on Friday night when shots rang out, seriously injuring her in her own driveway, theAustin American-Statesman reports.

The shooting was reported to the police at 10:16 p.m., and by 10:21 police were on the scene, according to Police Commander Mark Spangler. An air-and-ground search for the shooter ensued but no suspect was found.

Immediately, EMS rushed to the scene and began treating Kocurek.

“We are able to report that the victim is in stable condition, and this injury, though extremely serious, does not appear to be life-threatening at this time,” Spangler told the Austin American-Statesman.

The shooting occurred in a wealthy Austin neighborhood, where houses go for $1 million to $2 million, the Statesman notes. As of right now, it is unclear why Kocurek, and no one else in her company, was shot.

“Unfortunately this occurred during the darkness. We are working through a number of witnesses who will hopefully be able to give us additional details that will help us track down this person or persons who are responsible for the shooting,” Spangler told the Statesman.

Kocurek has presided over the 390th District Court since January 1999, when then-Governor George W. Bush appointed her, according to the Statesman. She has handled a number of high-profile cases during her lengthy career, and she has played an active role in the community, once cochairing the National Campaign to Stop Violence and the Mother’s Milk Bank of Austin.

Authorities haven’t indicated if the shooting was related to any of her cases, or simply a random act of violence, but until last year, Kocurek was the administrative judge presiding over all criminal cases in the county, as the Statesman notes.

CNN notes that as recently as 2013, a state prosecutor was shot and killed outside of the Kaufman County courthouse in Texas, spurring on Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland to promise to hunt down the “scum” that killed his “stellar prosecutor,” who reportedly “had an absolute passion for putting away bad guys.”

mark hasse 2013 shooting
The scene outside the Kaufman County, Texas, courthouse after prosecutor Mark Hasse was killed in 2013. CNN


Two months later, McLelland and his wife were found killed in their homes outside of Dallas.

Violent behavior toward judges and prosecutors is a disturbingly common trend, as 768 threats and inappropriate communications against the judiciary had to be assessed, mitigated, and deterred by US Marshals in 2014 alone, as CNN notes.

As reported by Business Insider