Officials to meet with sheriff's office about security after deadly courtroom shooting


A Franklin County judge says leaders will meet with the sheriff's department to address safety concerns at the Franklin County courthouse moving forward from Wednesday's deadly shooting.

A deputy shot and killed a 16-year-old boy during a struggle in a courtroom on the 5th floor.

The judge tells 10TV the discussions about security will take place once the investigation is complete.

But the Fraternal Order of Police says changes are needed to keep everyone safe.

On the 5th floor of the Franklin County courthouse, tensions can run high and sometimes escalate.

"Unlike other courts, this is the most significant impact to anybody's personal life. We're deciding where children are going to live, we're deciding marital assets," Franklin County Domestic Relations and Juvenile Court Administrative Judge Kim Browne said.

On her 16 years on the bench, Judge Kim Browne says she hasn't seen anything like what happened Wednesday.

"Everybody is struggling a little bit because we've not had like I said an incident like this. Obviously, the events of yesterday were tragic and sad," Judge Browne said.

Teenager Joseph Haynes had a hearing in courtroom 56.

Investigators say during the proceeding there was some kind of outburst.

Then, a Franklin County sheriff's deputy got into a struggle with Haynes and members of his family.

Investigators say the deputy was knocked to the floor and that's when he fired his weapon.

"I think there's a concern for the safety of not just the deputies, but everybody that goes in and out," Fraternal Order of Police Executive Vice President Keith Ferrell said.

The Fraternal Order of Police says requests for additional staffing at the courthouse have already been made and it will be brought up again.

"We will certainly point this out, concern for our deputies and the citizens that we need to make some changes and get appropriate staffing," Ferrell said.

Judge Browne says all benches in the courtrooms have panic buttons and 5 to 6 deputies patrol four floors of the courthouse.

Criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn says he's seen deputies respond.

"I've seen incidents where there's fights or scuffles or arguments on the juvenile floor and the deputies are on top of it," Joslyn said.

Joslyn says it can be stressful on the 5th floor.

"It's just the emotional aspect of what's happening in those courtrooms often leads to these types of feuds in the hallways," Joslyn said.

Judge Browne might agree.

"We do our best to de-escalate people and remind them that we're here to help," Judge Browne said.

Though she says more deputies in the courthouse couldn't hurt.

An employee assistance program was offered to all Franklin County employees Thursday to help cope and deal with trauma.

The sheriff's office has not released the name of the deputy because threats were received.

Courtroom 56 is expected to open on Monday.