COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A deputy fatally shot a 16-year-old boy in an Ohio courtroom when a fight broke out involving the boy, his family and the officer on Wednesday, a sheriff’s office investigator said.
Joseph Haynes was struck once in the abdomen during the fight that began as an early afternoon hearing concluded in a domestic relations courtroom in Columbus, said Rick Minerd, investigations chief with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. The boy died about 30 minutes later at a nearby downtown hospital.
Events unfolded as a judge wrapped up a hearing involving a firearms charge against the boy and an electronic monitoring device the court assigned him earlier in the case, Minerd said.
“At some point as the hearing was concluding, there was an altercation that ensued involving the deputy and some of the family members,” Minerd said. He added later the boy also was involved.
The deputy was knocked to the ground and fired a shot, he said.
Minerd didn’t identify the deputy, saying the investigation is ongoing. The deputy also was injured and was being treated at a hospital, but that he wasn’t shot, Minerd said.
Minerd said the sheriff’s office extends its condolences to the family of Haynes and wishes the injured deputy a quick recovery. He wouldn’t speculate on what exactly happened.
“That’s a very busy courtroom, very emotional floor here in the courthouse,” Minerd said.
The sheriff’s office immediately requested crime scene assistance from the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and two employees of the agency were assigned, records show.
Franklin County Commissioner John O’Grady told the Columbus Dispatch that public safety is always an issue and commissioners would “certainly be willing” to discuss added juvenile court security with court personnel.
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