Authorities identify armed man shot by deputy at Jackson County Courthouse

Authorities identify armed man shot by deputy at Jackson County Courthouse
A shooting investigation is underway at the Jackson County courthouse. (Source: WAFF)

SCOTTSBORO, AL (WAFF) - The Jackson County courthouse closed on Wednesday morning following a deputy-involved shooting.

Investigators say 72-year-old Fred Swearengin of the Letcher Community entered the courthouse armed with a handgun and was refused entry to the courthouse.

Letcher Church of God pastor Duran Teague said Swearingen keeps to himself, but that the community is praying for all involved.

Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen said that Swearengin refused to surrender his weapon and that Swearengin then drew his gun and was shot by a deputy who was working the security checkpoint. Investigators say they found four full magazines in his pocket, and a fifth in his gun.

Sheriff Chuck Phillips says Swearengin who was shot was taken to Huntsville Hospital. Swearengin’s condition is cunclear.

The courthouse reopened on Thursday. The State Bureau of Investigation is taking over the investigation of this officer-involved-shooting. The SBI hasn’t released any additional information.

Phillips, the Jackson County Commission and other elected officials are going to be holding a meeting on Sept. 30 to address the courthouses’ security plan.

Wednesday’s shooting was the second in recent memory on courthouse grounds, a similar incident played out in 2006.

Phillips said he’d like to see more deputies, but there are logistical roadblocks.

“I’d like to see more deputies, but due to our money situation here, that just not going to happen. This county is going broke really quick,” he said.

“We do not have money to hire deputies with, to put them out on the road much less open another door.”

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