CNN, March 11, 2005
A Fulton County Superior Court judge, a sheriff’s deputy and a court reporter were killed and another deputy was wounded Friday when a defendant grabbed a gun from a deputy sheriff and opened fire at the downtown Atlanta courthouse, officials said.
The first shootings occurred about 9 a.m. in Judge Rowland W. Barnes’ eighth-floor courtroom. Barnes was dead at the scene, Judge Gary Spencer told CNN Radio. A court reporter was also killed and a deputy wounded.
A search for the suspect, identified by police as Brian Nichols, 34, was under way. “We do have a search for the suspect . . . and the suspect is at large right now,” Huber said. Nichols is suspected of having attempted to carjack up to five vehicles to make an escape. Nichols was reportedly facing a retrial for rape and kidnapping in Barnes’ courtroom, after a first trial resulted in a hung jury. He is described as being an African-American male, 34 years old, about 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighing 210 pounds.