Criminal Justice

gun laying on desk

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A Texas lawyer is accused of showing up with a handgun last Friday to the Denton law office that had fired her.

Police arrested Petrina Thompson, 53, and charged her with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The Denton Record Chronicle, Fox 4 News and NBCDFW have coverage.

A 911 caller said Thompson had been recently fired from Martinez Legal in Denton before she showed up at the law office and fired a gun. The law firm’s areas of practice include family law and estate planning.

Police pulled Thompson over in her car about a mile from the law office. Officers said they found a gun, but it was jammed. Police said they were trying to determine whether Thompson actually fired a shot because they did not find bullet casings or holes in the law office.

According to the Denton Chronicle, federal court records indicate Thompson formerly worked at the Dallas City Attorney’s office, but the office did not return its phone calls to verify employment.

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in January that a woman named Petrina Thompson could not sue the Dallas City Attorney’s office for workplace harassment and discrimination because similar claims had been tossed under state law for being filed too late.

Thompson had begun working in the City Attorney’s office in October 2011 and was fired about a year after her transfer to a different division in December 2014, according to her complaint.

A woman named Petrina Thompson also sued Legal Aid of Northwestern Texas for alleged discrimination in federal court in June 2018. Her claims were dismissed in March of this year.

The complaint said Thompson began working part time for a legal-aid hotline in February 2017 and was fired by email in June 2017.

State bar records indicate Thompson received her license to practice law in Texas in November 2009.