Suspected courthouse shooter had Houston legal troubles

HOUSTON - The rape case that erupted in gunfire outside Beaumont's courthouse had deep roots in Houston, Local 2 Investigates uncovered on Wednesday.

Bartholomew Granger, 41, identified by police in Beaumont as the suspected shooter who was shot by police, had tried to derail the rape investigation against him and his family with unusual and sometimes bizarre court filings at Houston Federal Court.

One of the court filings in Houston stated, "Give us Liberty or give us DEATH!"

Police said Granger was on trial for a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child when he opened fire during a break in the proceedings Wednesday morning, but court filings reveal that he and his family had tried to use Houston Federal Court to derail the police investigation that led to the rape charges.

The Granger family's lawsuit was filed against police in Houston and Beaumont on July 26, 2010, where the family asked for $250 million for "mental anguish" caused by the rape investigation.

The suit was filed by the suspected shooter and several of his relatives, some of whom were living in Houston as the investigation was unfolding.

In court filings, the family wrote that police were, "incriminating my whole family based on a lie."

The lawsuit accused police of raiding their home off Wayside in northeast Houston on three separate occasions, even beating one of the shooter's relatives in one of those raids.

Houston police responded in court filings of their own, saying there was no struggle and no beating, and that a relative of the suspected shooter was arrested peacefully at the home off Wayside.

Police and U.S. Marshals told the court that the suspected shooter turned himself in to authorities in Beaumont to face the rape charges, so those officers spelled out in affidavits that there was no police misconduct.

HPD also responded in court saying local police did not perform their own investigation, but merely followed up with arrest warrants based on the charges filed in Beaumont.

The Granger family's lawsuit blamed a "crooked CPS worker" for the allegations and also blamed a "felon" who was causing the rape charges to be filed against at least two members of the Granger family.

The lawsuit called the entire investigation a "witch hunt" that it equated to Nazi Germany bearing down on the family.

As the family's lawsuit began falling apart in Houston Federal Court, their filings became more erratic and enraged.

"This investigation was not only marred with errors, it was a debacle," the family wrote in a response filed June 21, 2011.

Houston court records show that Granger, 41, had a trespassing warrant out for his arrest when the gunfire erupted this morning.

Harris County sheriff's deputies filed the charges on October 12, 2011, when he was accused of remaining at an apartment in the 13900 block of Ella Boulevard after being evicted.  He was never arrested on that charge, and Houston police and the sheriff's office said they had no other records that involved him.

The family's lawsuit against the various police agencies was dismissed in December, when the federal court ruled there was no proof that the family's civil rights had been violated.

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