Defendant shot in the head after rushing judge, trying to grab deputy's gun following guilty verdict
Defendant shot in the head after rushing judge, trying to grab deputy’s gun following guilty verdict

Josh Shaffer and Avi Bajpai

The News & Observer

ROXBORO, N.C. — A defendant enraged by a guilty verdict was shot in the head Thursday after he rushed toward a Person County judge and tried to grab a deputy’s gun, officials said.

Two deputies were reportedly injured.

Sheriff Dewey Jones said the incident happened around noon at the courthouse in Roxboro and that one person was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

“There is not a community threat,” Jones said in a statement. “The courthouse will remain closed throughout the remainder of the day.”

Louisburg attorney Boyd Sturges said he had spoken to a judge and identified the man as Christopher Thomas Vaughn, who was charged with false imprisonment after being accused of trying to coerce a female from a Walmart.

Sturges said Vaughn threw a chair and ran for the judge’s bench and that two deputies subdued the large man.

At one point, he said, Vaughn tried to grab a deputy’s gun.

The deputies suffered injuries, one to the arm and the other to a hand, Sturges said.

The Person County district attorney’s office had employees in the courtroom, District Attorney Mike Waters said in a news release. None were injured, but due to their presence, the incident is being investigated by the Wake County district attorney and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, he said.

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