Manhunt: Sheriff shot, judge stabbed in WA state courthouse Friday
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Manhunt: Sheriff shot, judge stabbed in WA state courthouse Friday

Montesano : WA : USA | Mar 09, 2012 at 1:47 PM PST
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A man shot a female deputy and stabbed a judge at a Washington state courthouse on Friday.

So, how did the shooter get through the metal detectors? There are none. Yes, you just read that correctly, in Gray Harbor County Courthouse there are no metal detectors or any court security for that matter. In fact, the public has full access to the judges chambers in that particular facility.

This is not the first time this very same courthouse has had violence issues. Due to the failed security at the county legal building, a lawsuit was filed in an effort to secure the building, but to no avail.

As recently as in the past two years, two lawyers were assaulted; a man "charged" a judge; and a judge received a death threat during trial, but he was not given adequate security, according to the lawsuit.

The county admitted in court documents that "courthouse security is a concern," but cited budget constraints as the reason for holding off on providing the needed security.

Authorities from the courthouse communicated: At 12:10 p.m., the judge sustained at least one stab in the neck and the female deputy was shot in the shoulder.

Armed and dangerous, the suspect's name is Michael Thomas and police are engaged in an all-out manhunt for the assailant who injured the sheriff and the judge.

The description of the shooter is minimal at this time, but witnesses said he identified himself as "Michael Thomas" just before the attack.

Thomas is a stocky-built caucasian man, with short sandy brownish colored hair, according to King 5 News.

He was last seen wearing black pants and a button-down style blue shirt. It is not clear, but he may have had a briefcase. He is described as a young man, possibly in his twenties.

With very little details, Rick Scott, of Grays Harbor sheriff's department said it's not believed Thomas was scheduled to be in court today.

Court was not in session at the time of the incident.

All schools and county offices were immediately put in lockdown in the area with a firm message, "This is not a drill."

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Stephanie Ealy is based in Tacoma, Washington, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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