A judge’s worst nightmare came true last Friday at 10 p.m. Putting the bad guys away, wondering when the criminal or criminals are released from prison, if he or she will come back to retaliate, seeking revenge on the judge who put them in a cage. Judge Julie Kocurek reportedly was targeted as she got out of her car and was gunned down. Austin police suspect retaliation as a possible motive in the shooting of the Travis County Criminal District Court judge. It is reported that the judge is in stable condition with serious injuries.
Returning home Friday night at 10 p.m., Judge Kocurek saw a bag of trash blocking her security gate to enter her driveway. Officials involved in the case are remaining anonymous and exercised their right to speak off the record in regards to the details surrounding the shooting of Judge Kocurek. The unnamed officials stated that because the case is an on-going investigation, they were not authorized to speak publicly. The mystery surrounding the case is just as horrifying as the shooting. When Kocurek’s driver got out of her car to clear the trans from the gated entrance, an unidentified male fired, wounding the judge. According to the police, it appears the judge was struck by flying glass and shrapnel and not bullets. The driver nor any other other passengers were struck by the gunfire.
Judge Kocurek was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was met with several other Travis County judges showing their love and support to their colleague. Initially reported to be in critical condition, the judge was later diagnosed to be in stable condition early Saturday morning.
Neighbor to the judge Dudley McCalla, courageously gave his name and reported that he and wife both heard four gun shots. McCalla described the gun fire to be in rapid succession. With no suspects taken into custody, McCalla was smart in stating that he nor his wife saw anything.
Respected in her community, Kocurek has served as the presiding judge of the 390th District Court since January of 1999. She was appointed to the bench by former Texas Governor George W. Bush. According to the New York Daily News, Kocurek has handled numerous high-profile cases, including cases involving former Texas Governor Rick Perry and former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Serving as the criminal court administrative judge from 2011-14, Kocurek is no stranger to dealing with the underworld. This is a first, however, that someone sought revenge.
The only Republican judge in the county’s history to be elected to a Travis County Court, clearly someone is sending a message that they do not agree with her verdicts or her politics. Just two years ago district attorney Mark Hasse and district attorney Mike McClelland, along with his wife, were shot and killed. The case was proven retaliation.
Kocurek will have to beef up her security and surveillance from here on out. Her passion for justice will have her back in her robe, ruling a case. I have never understood how rock stars Jay Z and Beyonce will demand round the clock security with them seven days a week, but a judge who comes face to face every week with hardened, cold blooded killers do not travel with a body guard ever. It would only make sense.