As state and federal investigators flood this north Texas county searching for clues in the killing of two prosecutors in two months, the 100,000 people who live here can do little but nervously watch, and hope.
"The residents are, I think, astounded," said Delois Stolusky, who has lived in the county seat of Kaufman for 30 years. "It's just, one and one make two. You can't keep from connecting these. And it's just scary because we have no clue of who did the first shooting. And no clue, of course, yet who did this one. And, so of course our concern is what's going to happen next."
Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, died in a shooting at their home over the weekend. Friends discovered their bodies Saturday, nearly two months to the day after someone killed McLelland's chief felony prosecutor, Mark Hasse, in a daytime shooting outside the county courthouse.
The killings have also rattled law enforcement, leading to increased security at the Kaufman County courthouse and around its elected leaders.
"I can promise you that all of the people in this courthouse, all of the elected officials, all of the other people who are involved in this investigation, are being very well protected," County Judge Bruce Wood told reporters Tuesday.
Wood said "literally hundreds" of investigators were working the case.
"I'm not sure what time frame we're on, but I'm confident that they will find whoever committed this crime," he said.
The investigation is starting from scratch, with no leads in the McLellands' deaths, CNN affiliate WFAA reported.
Nor do officials have any further ideas on who killed Hasse.
But justice officials across the state are on high alert, unsure if or when another such strike might occur.
"This, I think, is a clear concern to individuals who are in public life, particularly those who deal with some very mean and vicious individuals -- whether they're white supremacy groups or drug cartels that we have," Texas Gov. Rick Perry said.
Some, like Harris County's district attorney in Houston, are now under 24-hour security.
McLelland himself had a sheriff's deputy guarding his house after Hasse's death, but exactly why the deputy stopped patrolling the home is unclear.
CNN affiliate KTVT said the sheriff's department removed the security detail because McLelland thought it was unnecessary and didn't want to waste taxpayer dollars.
But sources told WFAA a deputy was only dispatched to McLelland's home as a temporary assignment. The home was equipped with surveillance cameras, but not the kind that constantly record, the affiliate said.
While suspicions abound over a link between the deaths and a possible tie to white supremacists, such as the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas -- a group decimated by a 2012 investigation that included Kaufman County authorities -- law enforcement officials can't say for sure who is responsible.
Pete Schulte, a friend of McLelland's, was stunned that such attacks against prosecutors took place in Kaufman County -- a largely rural community east of Dallas where practicing law has been a collegial business.
"Everybody knew each other here," Schulte said. "Everybody liked the district attorney's office. There just wasn't a lot of activity out here.
"So the biggest shock out here ... is why, in Kaufman, Texas, are we having an assistant DA get killed and an elected DA? It's really sending some shock waves through the community."
Filling a deep void
In a county with only about a dozen prosecutors, the loss of the district attorney and the chief felony prosecutor have left a profound void.
Brandi Fernandez, McLelland's first assistant district attorney, will lead the office as an interim district attorney, county officials said.
She will keep the role until Gov. Perry appoints a successor.
But whoever becomes Kaufman County's next top prosecutor will have to grapple with the haunting past.
"I wonder if the governor is going to find anyone brave enough to take the job of district attorney," Kaufman city Mayor William Fortner told CNN.