Security Supervisor Joseph Peter Zangaro

Security Supervisor Joseph Peter Zangaro

Berrien County Trial Court, Michigan

End of Watch Monday, July 11, 2016

Joseph Peter Zangaro

Security Supervisor Joe Zangaro and Court Officer Ron Kienzle were shot and killed inside the Berrien County Courthouse by an inmate who was attempting to escape at approximately 2:25 pm.

The inmate was being returned to a holding cell following a court appearance when he attacked a sheriff's deputy in the corridor behind the courtroom. Officer Kienzle heard the struggle and ran into the corridor. As soon as he opened the door to the corridor the prisoner shot him with the deputy's service weapon.

The man escaped into a public hallway where he shot a civilian and exchanged shots with two other court officers, killing Supervisor Zangaro, before being killed by return gunfire.

The inmate was in court for two counts of criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, and domestic assault.

Security Supervisor Zangaro had served as the Berrien County Trial Court's director of security for 10 years after having retired from the Michigan State Police after 25 years.


  • Age 61
  • Tour 35 years
  • Badge 637

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

escape, sex offender

Most Recent Reflection

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Miss you Joe, always tell others the story about when you and your dog went out west bird hunting and ended up at some farmers house scaring the fainting goats for 2 hours and that you haven't laughed for 2 hours straight forever but enjoyed acting like a kid. You were a great friend, father, dad and grandpa. Rest in peace buddy, you earned it.

Retired Captain
Kalamazoo Public Safety

July 12, 2017

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