The Fraternal Order of Police held a press conference after a deputy shot and killed a 16-year-old during an altercation inside the Franklin County Courthouse on Wednesday.
Joseph Haynes was struck once in the abdomen during the altercation in a domestic relations courtroom. Haynes died a short time later at Grant Medical Center.
The FOP said there was some kind of outburst in the courtroom, the deputy was asked to respond, and when he did, he got into a struggle with the defendant and members of his family.
Investigators said the deputy was knocked to the floor and that’s when he fired.
An attorney for Haynes said he was upset when the deputy threatened to arrest him and a scuffle broke out when he resisted the deputy.
During a press conference Thursday morning, the police union said the deputy was assaulted and attacked and responded to protect the safety of him and everyone in the courtroom.
"Whenever somebody attacks an officer, there's always a weapon involved, always because the officer is always armed.” FOP Executive Vice President Keith Ferrell said. "There's always likelihood, the probability, that that person could get your weapon, incapacitate you with a non-lethal weapon, and then get your sidearm. We're trained, absolutely that you can't allow that to happen."
Ferrell said the deputy has visible injuries that tell him the deputy was assaulted.
"It was very clear to me, and in my experiences, that he was attacked and this was a fight for his life at some point," Ferrell said.
The deputy, whose name has not been released, was treated and released from the hospital last night.