The Big Story Blog

Suspect's dad: Son 'snapped' in courthouse shooting

Posted at 1:53 PM on December 16, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Public Safety

Daniel Schlienz "snapped" and "didn't realize what he was doing" when he allegedly shot Cook County Attorney Timothy Scannell and other man Thursday at the Cook County courthouse, Schlienz's father Gary told reporters.

Speaking in the doorway of his home, Gary Schlienz said he spoke to his son by phone at about noon today and that his son is realizing now the gravity of what happened. "I just wish it didn't happen. Nobody deserved this."

He speculates his son was hoping to be shot by law enforcement.

Officials say Daniel got his handgun from his vehicle after a Cook County jury found him guilty of criminal sexual conduct.

"He said he was going to shoot himself when he got to his pickup" to get his gun," Gary Schlienz said. But "he snapped."

He said in a small town, no one would give his son work after the criminal sexual charges against him; Daniel didn't have any money and lived in a house owned by his mother.

The Cook County attorney is an "OK guy" who was just doing his job, Gary said, adding that he's still "shaky" and "sweaty" when he thinks about the incident. "it's going to be hard to get over this....How do I face even my friends?"

Note: This post was written using interview notes of MPR News
reporter Dan Kraker.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.