Courthouse Shooting Victims Were Friends, Neighbors - New York News

Courthouse Shooting Victims Were Friends, Neighbors

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(L-R) Christine Belford, courtesy of the News Journal, and Laura "Beth" Mulford were killed in Monday's courthouse shooting. (L-R) Christine Belford, courtesy of the News Journal, and Laura "Beth" Mulford were killed in Monday's courthouse shooting.
NEWARK, Del. -

"She was afraid of them, all of them."

Neighbors say Christine Belford lived in fear and even equipped her Newark, Delaware home with surveillance cameras and security lights.

They say she was afraid of her former husband, David Matusiewicz, who had kidnapped their children several years ago and gone to prison for it.

Lately, she had an inkling David's parents were spying on her.

"One day six months or so ago she saw a car sitting in the development. She thought the mother, David's mother and father were in it," said Lois Dawson who lives just across the street.

Police say it turns out that when Christine was gunned down inside the New Castle County Courthouse Monday, the gunman was actually David's father, 68-year-old Thomas Matusiewicz, who came to the courthouse to support David in his ongoing and tumultuous custody battle with Christine.

"She knew what had happened," Dawson told FOX 29. "She always had to be careful, the mother helped him the first time so....with the kidnapping."  

The second murder, victim Laura "Beth" Mulford, lived just a few hundred yards from Christine, down a hill behind the Belford home in the Meadowdale complex.

Beth had gone to the court house to give morale support to Belford.

The 47-year-old emergency room nurse was a wife and mother of two teenage daughters. She paid for her kind deed with her life.

"They have a father still that loves and cares for them," Dawson added. "My heart breaks for them too."  

A spokesman for the Mulford family called the killings "senseless" and remembered Beth as "a friend to many." She had a "kind heart" and "will be deeply missed." Residents in this upper middle class community are worried about both women's children that are left behind.

"Scared, they gotta' be scarred and who do they go to," said Dawson

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