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Manhunt underway after Texas judge shot outside her home

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 11/7/2015 Gregg Zoroya
Authorities investigate the scene Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, where District Judge Julie Kocurek was shot on Friday night in the driveway of her home in Austin, Texas. © Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP Authorities investigate the scene Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, where District Judge Julie Kocurek was shot on Friday night in the driveway of her home in Austin, Texas.

A police manhunt was underway Saturday for a suspect who shot and seriously wounded the presiding state district judge of the Texas county that includes Austin.

Travis County State District Judge Julie Kocurek, was gunned down in the driveway of her home in West Austin on Friday night. She was listed in serious condition at University Medical Center Brackenridge in Austin but was expected to recover.

Police said the shooting occurred as Kocurek and her family arrived home, and it was unclear whether the shooter was targeting the judge or the incident was a botched robbery. A neighbor told the Austin American-Statesman about hearing four "pops."

"This injury, although extremely serious, does not appear to be life-threatening," said Austin Police Department Commander Mark Spangler.

Spangler told reporters that because the shooting was at night and in the dark, there was little information available to police about the gunman, and it was unclear how many suspects might be involved. Police arrived about five minutes after the shooting was reported.

Police conducted a search for the gunman late Friday and handed out flyers Saturday seeking information related to the shooting. The judge lives in a wealthy area of $1 million and $2 million homes, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Kocurek is a former prosecutor who was appointed presiding judge of the 390th District Court by then-Gov. George W. Bush in 1999. She has overseen several high-profile murder cases. She became the only Republican elected to a state district judgeship in the heavily Democratic and later switched parties to become a Democrat.

Contributing: KVUE-TV, Austin

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