Elderly suspect charged in shooting death of lawyer

Friday, June 14, 2002

BEAUMONT, Texas -- An elderly man apparently angered by a law firm's refusal to represent him in an asbestos case opened fire at the firm Thursday, killing a veteran attorney, police said.

Another lawyer at Reaud Morgan & Quinn Inc., subdued the 79-year-old gunman, Police Chief Tom Scofield said.

Cris Quinn, a senior partner and Baylor University law school graduate, was killed. Quinn, 47, a lawyer for the last 21 years, specialized in personal injury law.

The chief identified the shooter as Richard Gerzine, and said he had asked to see Quinn just before 9 a.m. After being escorted into the lawyer's office, Gerzine took out a shotgun concealed in a cardboard box and fired two shots, Scofield said.

Scofield said Gerzine, of nearby Vidor, was angry the firm had refused to represent him in an asbestos-related lawsuit. He didn't have any more details about the case.

"The facts were not there, the case was refused. At that point, he became quite angry about that," Scofield said.

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