Julie Kocurek was shot outside her Austin home on Friday night. The Texas state judge is in serious condition, but her injuries aren't life-threatening. A manhunt ensued following the shooting, but as of Saturday, no arrests had been made.
The presiding judge of the 390th District Court since January 1999, Julie Kocurek has been involved in many high profile political cases, involving former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay. She has been active in her own community, co-chairing the National Campaign to Stop Violence.
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) November 7, 2015
Investigators are looking into her experiences as both judge and community activist to determine a reason Julie Kocurek was targeted.
Unfortunately, there have been murders in the Texas legal community in recent years. Prosecutor Mark Hasse was shot and killed outside the Kaufman County, Texas courthouse in 2013. Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland responded to that shooting by vowing to put away the "scum" who'd killed him. Two months later, however, Mike McLelland and his wife were shot dead inside their home east of Dallas.
Some speculate Julie Kocurek was shot in retaliation for a case. In the meantime, neighbors in her neighborhood are on edge.
Sources: Shooting of Judge Julie Kocurek might have been retaliation, Judge remains in stable condition https://t.co/Dm9h3wLzyK
— Austin Statesman (@statesman) November 8, 2015
“The Kocurek family is an old Austin family, and most of us have some connection to them,” neighbor Katherine Botts said. “It’s disheartening and scary. We wish the best for the Kocurek family.”
Following the shooting on Friday night, many within the close-knit legal community rushed to the hospital in support of Julie Kocurek.
Despite surviving this shooting, Julie Kocurek and her family will no doubt be on edge until the person or persons responsible for this crime are arrested.