Courthouse Shooting in Philadelphia Suburb

     WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CN) – Chester County Courthouse went on lockdown for a short time Tuesday afternoon after a security guard shot a knife-wielding assailant in the lobby.
     Though the deputy sheriff who was stabbed in the arm and hand is in stable condition, the assailant, 34-year-old Curtis Smith, was pronounced dead at Paoli Hospital, Chester County District Attorney Thomas Hogan announced.
     Hogan said Smith, of Coatesville, entered the lobby of the courthouse at 201 W. Market St. at approximately 11:50 a.m. and slashed a deputy sheriff with a knife.
     A second sheriff deputy responded by firing his weapon at Smith, who received treatment from an emergency medical team at the scene before he was hospitalized.
     A press release from Chester County Courthouse confirms that Smith is the same individual whom Secret Service arrested in March for jumping the fence at the White House.
     The deputy sheriff who was stabbed was initially treated at Chester County Hospital and then flown to a trauma center.
     Hogan called the court’s reaction to the stabbing “a model response to a violent attacker,” saying that Chester County detectives will handle the investigation.
     A large police presence remained outside the Chester County District Justice Center hours after the noontime altercation.
     Hogan had initially taken to Facebook to announce that the situation had been neutralized.
     “There was an incident in the lobby of the Chester County Justice Center,” a post on Hogan’s Facebook page states. “Sheriff’s deputies neutralized the threat and the area is secure. The Justice Center will be closed to the public for the rest of the day. More details will follow.”
     A local ABC affiliate quoted county officials as saying that they saw a man in handcuffs being removed on a stretcher. They said he was awake and suffering from abdominal wounds.
     The county instructed employees to stay in their offices when the courthouse went on lockdown.

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