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Community on edge after shooting at Jackson County Courthouse

The State Bureau of Investigation will handle the probe of the shooting.

Posted: Sep 18, 2019 4:47 PM
Updated: Sep 18, 2019 8:25 PM

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office says on Wednesday, a man walked into the Jackson County Courthouse in Scottsboro armed with a handgun on his side.

After being refused entry by Courthouse Security Deputies, the man drew his weapon and was shot, according to the sheriff's office.

The courthouse is right in the middle of downtown with people coming and going all day. Wednesday was the exception. Those courthouse doors have been locked tight ever since the shooting.

One woman who works nearby told WAAY 31 she heard multiple gunshots just after 10 a.m. Wednesday, but she couldn't be sure exactly how many. She also said she saw a few people run outside to the front lawn looking extremely upset.

The courthouse is shut down until Thursday morning, so everyone who came there has been turned away. Sylvia Hartbarger was one of them. She said Wednesday was the day she was finally going to get street legal.

"I'm glad I wasn't here, but it kind of upsets me I can't get my tags. I've been stopped four times for no tag," said Hartbarger.

Jackson County Commission Chairman Tim Guffey said he was on his way to Montgomery for a conference when he got the call about the shooting and immediately turned around.

The crime scene tape may be gone now, but for some of the 70 people who work inside the courthouse, the memory of gunshots ringing out at their workplace might stay with them. That's why Jackson County officials are offering counseling to those who need it.

"I've called several of them and they are upset. Some of them being the first time they've been involved in anything like this, it's a trying time for them, but we're just trying to get them the counseling they need and reassure them it's going to be okay," said Guffey.

Just inside the courthouse doors, you'll see one metal detector entrance with an armed deputy. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office is also located on the first floor. 

People said although this situation does scare them, they feel safer knowing how deputies handled it.

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